Bid to avoid controversy as bridge naming contest launched

A new image of Great Yarmouth's proposed third river crossiing in the open position Picture: Norfolk

Norfolk County Council has launched a public naming contest for Great Yarmouth's new third river crossing - but with safeguards to ensure the process isn't hijacked. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

The public are being asked to come up with a name for Great Yarmouth's new third river crossing.

The £120m bridge is due to open in March 2023, a third span for the River Yare alongside the Breydon and Haven Bridges.

Graham Plant, cabinet member for growing the economy at Norfolk County Council, said something like Yare Bridge would not be out of place but was too obvious.

New image showing Great Yarmouth's third river crossing showing the control towers Picture: Norfolk

The public will be asked to vote on a shortlist of names for Great Yarmouth's new third river crossing. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

He said he hoped the community and schools could come up with something more imaginative, the process helping to give local people ownership of the new crossing.

"I would like to think suggestions would be relevant to the town and the time,"  he said.

A view showing the dual carriageway approach to the third river crossing Picture: Norfolk County Cou

The public are being asked what they would call Great Yarmouth's new third river crossing. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

"We are keen to get the town involved because it is the whole borough's bridge."

A panel of community leaders and council representatives will draw up a shortlist which will then be put to a public vote later this year.

Mr Plant said the aim of the process was to prevent anything going wrong and ending up with something silly following the infamous Boaty McBoatface saga.

MIke Page pictures showing progress on Great Yarmouth's Third River Crossing

New pictures showing progress on Great Yarmouth's Third River Crossing in April 2022. - Credit: Mike Page

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He said something reflecting the borough or the platinum Jubilee could be appropriate.

He also suggested the first official crossing could be made on foot or by bicycle highlighting the new bridge's role in connecting communities and helping to get people fitter and spending less on transport.

Breydon Bridge was opened in 1985, crossing Breydon Water, as part of the A47 although originally it was classified as the A12.

MIke Page pictures showing progress on Great Yarmouth's Third River Crossing

Progress on the Third River Crossing in Great Yarmouth which is due to open early in 2023. - Credit: Mike Page

Haven Bridge was opened by the Prince of Wales in 1930.

It replaced an earlier Haven Bridge that was opened to the public in 1854. There has been a bridge on this site since at least 1427, the name likely referring to Yarmouth's role as a port, or haven.

The third river crossing is described as "the crowning jewel" of over £200m investment in the town over the last three years. 

The project is now in its 17th month of construction, well past the halfway point, and on course to open within budget.

The council is asking any individual, family, community group or school that can think of a symbolic name with a story behind it to send their suggestions and contact information to gy3rc@norfolk.gov.uk.

The name is due to be announced in early 2023.