In a visit to the Port of Felixstowe this morning, the Prime Minister announced that the Government has agreed to provide 70 million GBP to fund a new river crossing for Lowestoft.
Mr Cameron confirmed the news ahead of the Chancellor's Budget statement on Wednesday.
The proposed crossing will be in a central location, following a north/south route from a new roundabout on Denmark Road, spanning both the railway and Lake Lothing, connecting with Riverside Road on the south side. The proposed crossing will link the existing northern spine road with southern link road. Featuring a carriageway with provision for footways and cycle tracks, the crossing will link 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.
Leader of Waveney District Council, Cllr Colin Law said:
"This is one of the most important announcements in the history of the town and I could not be more delighted. This is for the people, communities and businesses of Lowestoft who have campaigned for a new crossing and who have shared our determination to see it become a reality. There is still much work to be done, however this is the green light that we all dreamed of."
Leader of Suffolk County Council, Cllr Colin Noble said:
"This is a great moment for the people of Lowestoft and Suffolk. I am very pleased to hear the news that we have been given the go-ahead for our business case. We can now plough on with developing this project further and move towards construction. This is a massive piece of work and is likely to cost around £80 - £100million. In addition to the £70million from the government, we will work to source the remaining money from local funding sources. It will provide vital regional infrastructure for Suffolk and the wider eastern counties as people and businesses move through Lowestoft to access the growing enterprise zone with its array of business and development opportunities."
The approved business case by Suffolk County Council and the New Anglia LEP followed 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.
MP for Waveney, Peter Aldous said:
"After many years of campaigning and decades of promises, and a recent petition signed by over 10,000 people, this is the news that Lowestoft has been waiting to hear. The Prime Minister promised this prior to the last General Election, committing the Government to a new crossing by 2020. Now with this pledge of £70 million we have the funding in place to get on with the detail planning to finally bring about a 3rd Crossing over Lake Lothing and the positive impact this will have on the local economy."
Mark Pendlington, Chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership said:
"This announcement gives a tremendous boost to the economy of Lowestoft, and is a great day for the future of the town. It is thanks to the vision, determination and tireless work of Peter Aldous MP, business leaders, local authorities and many local people who have championed the need for this crossing for decades. Today, everyone has the result they deserved. For business and jobs, the crossing will help to support the off-shore industry and the growing and thriving local Enterprise Zone too. For the town and surrounding area this critical piece of infrastructure is vital for future prosperity, bringing much improved travel connections and essential time and cost savings for businesses, visitors and everyone who lives and works here."