Will Lowestoft’s proposed Third River Crossing be in fact a Third Crossing or just another second one? Suffolk Liberal Democrats have obtained information, through FOI, questioning the credibility of promises made by the Conservatives, before the General Election on this matter.
Their concern is whether funding will go to create a sum total of three crossings or whether a smokescreen issued by the Conservatives hides plans to to remove Lowestoft’s Bascule Bridge, after the Third Crossing is built.
Having learned from an exchange between local MP, Peter Aldous, and a special advisor from the Department of Transport, that the cost of this feasibility study could be as high as £4-5 million, they also noted that the Prime Minister’s pre-election promise was for £2 million – less than half that amount.
Dave Busby, Suffolk Lib Dem’s Audit and Property Spokesperson – who questioned the Cabinet Member for Transport and received rather non-specific responses – commented:
“We welcome the assurance from Cllr Finch, the Transport Portfolio Holder, that there will be sufficient funds made available to ensure a ‘full, robust, credible scheme’ into the Third Crossing. The feasibility study is due to be completed, by the end of this year, which we look forward to being seen completed. The Lib Dems on the County Council are fully behind the Third Crossing and are still seeking assurances that when it comes to the end of its life the Bascule Bridge will also be replaced.”
Adam Robertson, Lib Dem spokesman for Lowestoft was among concerned local Lib Dems raising this vital issue:
“The Lib Dems have always supported the campaign for a Third Crossing, ever since the need for a Third Crossing was put in the Town Map of 1966. Will the new steering group for Lowestoft’s Third Crossing contain a cross representation of Lowestoft’s population, or merely politicians and business people as before? The voice of the people of Lowestoft needs to be heard and not lost in the party politicking that seems more important to some. “
Agreeing, Caroline Page, Suffolk LibDem Transport spokesperson, said, ” We need to see this scheme progress – fifty years of talk and no action is five decades too many!”
Lib Dem Spokesperson, Transport