Lowestoft will get the third crossing over Lake Lothing after many years of campaigning and a recent petition signed by over 10,000 people. The Prime Minister committed to the crossing prior to the last General Election, committing the Government to deliver a new crossing by 2020. With this further pledge of £70 million the county council finally has the funding firmly in place to press ahead with the detailed planning required in order to bring about a third crossing over Lake Lothing. This is a massive piece of work and is estimated to cost in the region of £80-100 million, but in addition to the £70 million pledged by central Government, the county council will work to source the remaining money from local funding sources.
The third crossing will provide critical 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.
To view the approved Outline Business Case for Lowestoft’s third crossing, please visit the Suffolk County Council’s website at https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/public-transport-and-planning/consultations-and-studies and click on the third tab ‘Transport Studies’
In addition to the third crossing in Lowestoft, the go-ahead has also been given for a new wet dock crossing in Ipswich, which will span the waterfront area of the town to connect communities with a new road infrastructure that will also serve a business and innovation centre based on an island in the dock itself. There now needs to be a review of the decision to determine funding for this ambitious project.
Suffolk County Council has now been given permission to proceed with developing the proposal and moving forward towards a timeframe for construction. This is another significant piece of work and is estimated to cost around £90 - £100million. The business case sets out the ambition to transform and develop the island site within Ipswich waterfront to bring in new business opportunities, job opportunities and development for residential and leisure use.
This scheme will be a catalyst for economic growth worth more than £8 billion to the local economy. Work has shown that, in addition to its likely effect on economic development, the new crossing will result in a significant reduction in congestion in the Star Lane area, one of the most congested parts of town, and will also relieve congestion on the A14 Orwell Bridge by providing an alternative route for local traffic.
The project has a lot of support locally and demonstrates the county council’s ongoing commitment to supporting Ipswich’s continued economic development as part of the wider Ipswich Vision.
To view the approved Outline Business Case for the Wet Dock crossing, please visit the Suffolk County Council’s website at https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/public-transport-and-planning/consultations-and-studies and click on the third tab ‘Transport Studies’