7,000 back call for third Lowestoft crossing

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for a third crossing to ease Lowestoft's traffic problems.

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for a third crossing to ease Lowestoft's traffic problems.

Drivers crossing Lake Lothing have to use the congested A12 Bascule Bridge near the town centre, or face a long detour inland to cross at Oulton Broad.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard is the man behind the petition, but last night he was accused of aiming it at the wrong people.

Mr Blizzard intends to present the petition, already containing 7,000 signatures, to Suffolk County Council.

"Unfortunately, some years ago, Suffolk County Council adopted the position that a third crossing is not necessary and it is not currently included in transport plans," he said.

"This may seem crazy to those of use who live here but it is very important because SCC is our statutory highway authority.

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"Although the Bascule Bridge is part of the trunk road system and a new crossing would have to be funded by central government, the Department of Transport, quite understandably, will not consider any road scheme unless it has the full and active support of the local highway authority."

But the county council's portfolio holder for roads and transport, Guy McGregor, said: "I cannot understand the MP's reasons for wanting to present this petition to the county council as the A12 Bascule Bridge is part of the trunk road system directly under the control of the Department of Transport.

"He should be presenting his petition to his own ministers as they will make the decision whether to proceed or not."

Mr McGregor said the council would like to see a third crossing for Lowestoft, but had to concentrate on the roads under its own control.

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