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Bold new swing bridge proposal for Great Yarmouth’s third river crossing

The options for the third river crossing in Great Yarmouth. Left, swing bridge and right, a lifting bridge, the county council's preferred option. Photo: Norfolk County Council

The options for the third river crossing in Great Yarmouth. Left, swing bridge and right, a lifting bridge, the county council's preferred option. Photo: Norfolk County Council

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A bold new design has emerged for Great Yarmouth’s proposed third river crossing.

As momentum gathers behind the major transport project, a new proposal for a swing bridge across the River Yare is being discussed by decision makers.

Previously images had shown a bascule, or lifting bridge, similar to the town’s Haven Bridge, which remains the County Council’s preferred option for the new crossing.

But now, a second option for a swing bridge has been mooted.

A crossing pivots from a single column in the river and famous examples are of the River Tyne in Newcastle, with smaller versions located in Reedham and Somerleyton.

A new option is for a swing bridge. Image of the proposed new third river crossing in Great Yarmouth.Photo: Norfolk County Council A new option is for a swing bridge. Image of the proposed new third river crossing in Great Yarmouth.Photo: Norfolk County Council

MORE: Town needs a third river crossing say bosses

Transport committee chairman at Norfolk County Council, Martin Wilby, said Great Yarmouth needs a third river crossing to reduce congestion on its roads.

He added: “Existing bridges over the River Yare get very clogged up during the rush hour and in peak tourist seasons.

“We know the benefits a bridge will bring and we have widespread support for the project, so now we need to work on the details.

One of the options is for a lifting, or bascule bridge. Image of the proposed new third river crossing in Great Yarmouth.Photo: Norfolk County Council One of the options is for a lifting, or bascule bridge. Image of the proposed new third river crossing in Great Yarmouth.Photo: Norfolk County Council

“We’re very interested in getting people’s thoughts on the two designs so that we can factor these in when making decisions.

“This is a much-needed bridge but also a huge project using public money, so we need to be confident we’re making the best possible choices.”

People will get the chance to see and comment on options for a planned new road bridge across the River Yare in Great Yarmouth in a series of local exhibitions this month.

MORE: Investment in transport infrastructure key to the future of town

Subject to getting government funding, Norfolk County Council hopes to start construction on the third river crossing in 2020.

The bridge will link the newly-renumbered A47 (formerly A12) at the Harfreys roundabout in the Southtown area of Yarmouth to the port and the Enterprise Zones on the other side of the river in South Denes Road.

Further options for the bridge are now set to be revealed as part of a consultation that will launch on Monday.

A decision by the Department for Transport was due in the summer but was delayed by the snap general election until the autumn.

Funding was announced for Lowestoft’s third crossing over Lake Lothing in 2016 and is due to open by the end of 2020.

The consultation will close at midnight on Friday, October 6. For details got to: www.norfolk.gov.uk/3RC.

Traffic problems

The new bridge could greatly reduce Great Yarmouth’s traffic problems.

It is said the scheme could reduce congestion by removing 1,000 and 200 vehicles from Haven and Breydon Bridges respectively in peak periods and lead to shorter journey times.

Last month a banner bemoaning the town’s traffic problems was hung up on a bridge close to the Harfreys roundabout where the new bridge connecting to the A47.

Subject to getting government funding, Norfolk County Council hopes to start construction on the third river crossing in 2020.

A funding decision by the Department for Transport was due in the summer but was delayed until the autumn because of the snap general election in June.

The idea of a tunnel under the River Yare was rejected as it would be more expensive at £180m.

Funding a new bridge in Lowestoft was announced in 2016 and is due to open in 2020.

Investment

Since 2003 Norfolk County Council has invested close to £4m towards a third river crossing for Great Yarmouth.

This includes £1.1m to identify the preferred crossing type and route and £2.8m to acquire properties and land to safeguard the route.

The route was adopted by the council’s cabinet in 2009.

Norfolk County Council says the third river crossing scheme could deliver up to 5,000 jobs and it could add £150m per year to the local economy.

It is said the scheme would reduce congestion by removing 1,000 and 200 vehicles from Haven and Breydon Bridges respectively in peak periods and lead to shorter journey times.

The idea of a tunnel under the River Yare was rejected as it would be more expensive at £180m.

Great Yarmouth hosts more than a third of all tourists staying in Norfolk and Suffolk worth £577m per year locally - a figure that could be boosted with a new crossing for the and the wider economy of the region.

Consultation days

Display boards showing the design options will be at four locations this month.

• Week commencing (w/c) September 4, Imperial Hotel, North Drive, Great Yarmouth.

Monday, noon-9pm; Tuesday, 10am-9pm; Wednesday, 10am-9pm; Thursday, 10am-9pm (staffed 2-9pm); Friday, 10am-9pm.

• W/c September 11, Great Yarmouth Library, Tolhouse Street, Great Yarmouth. Monday, noon-5pm; Tuesday, 9am-5pm; Wednesday, 9am-7.30pm; Thursday, 9am-5pm; Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 9am-4:30pm (staffed 10am-4.30pm).

• W/c September 18, Gorleston Library, Lowestoft Road, Gorleston. Monday, noon-5pm; Tuesday, 9.30am-8pm (staffed 2-8pm); Wednesday, 9:30am-5pm; Thursday, 9:30am-8pm; Friday, 9.30am-5pm; Saturday, 9.30am-4pm.

• W/c, September 25, Kings Centre, Queen Annes Road, Southtown. Tuesday, noon-5pm; Wednesday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, 10am-8pm (staffed 2-8pm); Friday, 10am-5pm.

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