Lowestoft’s third river crossing was first mentioned in the 1960’s statutory town plan, as part of the protected route for what was to become the South Lowestoft Relief Road (Bloodmoor Road & Tom Crisp Way), Northern Spine Road (Peto Way & Millennium Way) and A12 Kessingland bypass. Collectively these provide the traffic relief the town centre needs. They were built with the clear understanding that a third river crossing, the last part of the jigsaw, would be constructed across Lake Lothing to join Peto Way and Tom Crisp Way.
The Labour controlled Suffolk County Council of 1997 – 2005 understood this, and worked with Bob Blizzard MP to build the South Lowestoft Relief Road and put funding in place for this final leg. So I would strongly challenge Mark Bee’s comments in December 30th edition of the Eastern Daily Press that nothing has been achieved since 1997.
County Council Leader Mark Bee is short on the facts; from 2005 until May 2013 Tory run Suffolk County Council ignored the need for a third river crossing. However, Bob Blizzard, as the Waveney MP, continued to lobby, to get 15,000 signatures on a petition, and to get the then Labour government Transport Minister to commission an Economic Impact Assessment, all with a view to getting the bridge in the Roads Building Programme. From May 2010 however all was silent from Tory Waveney MP, government and County Council.
At the recent visit to Lowestoft, Ed Miliband was quite right to say that this scheme needs local people to support it. Until very recently, without the support of the Suffolk County highways authority, the scheme dropped off all road programmes, listed instead as a ‘Local Aspiration’ (i.e. no hope!) in the New Anglia LEP Lowestoft Transport & Infrastructure Prospectus 2013 -2025, which was signed off by Peter Aldous MP, County & District Council Leaders Mark Bee and Colin Law.
Unlike Mark Bee most in Lowestoft can remember Bob’s achievements whilst he was the town’s MP. Bob has knocked on the doors of hundreds of Lowestoft households, to seek and represent their views. Not just when there’s a general election coming, but every week. Lowestoft does not want another bridge next to the Bascule Bridge. Residents want a third crossing where it was originally intended, so that drivers who don’t need to get to the town centre can avoid Station Square, and use the alternative roads already built for that purpose. The Labour Group on Suffolk County Council is fully behind Bob’s position that the Third Crossing needs to be from Tom Crisp Way to Peto Way – there is no point in another crossing right next to the existing Bascule Bridge, and everyone in Lowestoft can see that apart from the Tories.
For more information contact:
Cllr Sandra Gage, Opposition Spokesperson for Roads and Transport
Tel: 07714 597998