Suffolk County Council and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership have formally submitted an outline business case for a third crossing at Lake Lothing to the Government's Department for Transport.
The business case, which will now be considered and assessed. explains how and why the decision has been made to put the proposal forward in its current form.
It is likely that the Department for Transport (DfT) will complete its review of the business case by the end of the financial year, (the end of March 2016) and will offer feedback to Suffolk County Council after this point.
The cost of the scheme preparation and construction is likely to be in the region of £80 - £90million.
The proposed crossing would be in a central location, following a north/south route from a new roundabout on Denmark Road, and would span both the railway and Lake Lothing, connecting with Riverside Road on the south side. The proposed crossing would link the existing Northern Spine Road with the Southern Link Road.
The new central crossing will feature a carriageway, with provision for footways and cycle tracks, linked to existing networks. The choice of a central corridor for the third crossing will enable traffic to move between the Northern Spine Road (Peto Way) and the Southern Link Road (Tom Crisp Way) without the need to use either of the existing bridges. The proposal presented in the outline business case is based on realistic and rigorous analysis of the current situation in Lowestoft, offering a clear vision of how things should be in the future with a robust assessment of the potential options for the scheme and the way it can be delivered.
Preparation of this business case follows extensive analysis of options and potential impact and consultation and engagement with the local business community. The benefits of the scheme in the business case are reduced journey times for commuters and businesses and the alleviation of congestion. The project supports the continued development of future business growth in Lowestoft and the town's regeneration.
Suffolk County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Cllr James Finch said:
"Submission of this business case is the first step on an exciting journey for the people of Lowestoft. There is much more work involved in the development of this project but this submission demonstrates how seriously this project is being taken by Peter Aldous MP with the local authorities."
MP for Waveney, Peter Aldous said:
"The presentation of a sound business case to the Department for Transport is a vital part of the process and shows that we have come further on this journey than at any time in the past. The people of Lowestoft want a new crossing and this latest development indicates our determination to deliver it. A huge amount of work has gone in to assessing all the options for the new crossing and the preference for a central crossing reflects improved data while also acknowledging public enthusiasm for this particular location."
Leader of Waveney District Council, Cllr Colin Law said:
"I am very pleased with the work that Mouchel have done to establish a preferred location for the bridge. We are making excellent progress in the right direction and the business case for a new crossing is, in our view, compelling. We are looking forward to the Department for Transport giving it their full attention and we hope for a positive response in due course."
Mark Pendlington, Chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership said:
"New Anglia LEP and Suffolk County Council have delivered a robust and compelling business case which clearly sets out the return on investment in for a third crossing at Lake Lothing. The investment will have a major impact on businesses in Lowestoft and the surrounding area. Through reducing journey times and congestion, valuable time and money will be saved and we look forward to receiving the government's feedback in April."