Artist’s impression of Yarmouth’s third crossing released, as borough councillors agree to back a £1.2m funding bid

An artist's impression of Great Yarmouth's third river crossing

An artist's impression of Great Yarmouth's third river crossing - Credit: Norfolk County Council

A new vision of the third river crossing in Great Yarmouth has been revealed, as borough councillors voted to support an initial bid for government money.

Councillors threw their support behind the project, which will see an initial bid for £1.2m put to the Department for Transport (DfT).

This figure was set at £965,000 but has since been upped to accommodate on-site surveys required by the DfT.

Norfolk County Council – which will be leading the bid – had previously approved the move on May 30, and had already put £60,000 forward to prepare the bid.

Councillors heard how the third crossing would help boost employment and reduce high levels of congestion on the two existing bridges.

It is thought around 9,000 jobs could be created through its construction and afterwards, and it would make the town much more attractive to investors.

It is proposed that the bridge will run from the Harfrey's roundabout and cross the River Yare to South Denes.

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Michael Jeal, Labour councillor for Nelson ward, was concerned about the height of the bridge and whether it would cause disruption.

He said: 'It seems the other bridges open at the most inconvenient times. We don't want to be opening every time a tug goes up the river.'

But members were reassured that the bridge would be higher than the others, allowing some boats to pass through without the need to open it.

If the bid is successful, the £1.2m would go toward technical work to draw up a business case for the new crossing.

After this, bids would then be put to the DfT for around £3m to £4m for detailed design and statutory procedures, and then finally £141m for the delivery of the project.

Cllr Martin Wilby, Chairman of the Environment, Development and Transport Committee at Norfolk County Council, said: 'We're on a long road which we hope will lead to Great Yarmouth getting its much needed third river crossing. We have submitted our bid for £1.2m from the Department for Transport and hope to hear over the summer whether this has been successful.

'The money would allow us to do detailed work to take the project to the stage where the government would be able to confirm if they are willing to fund the building of the bridge.

'If this all falls into place we expect that final approval and further funding from the DfT could come in four years' time with an estimated start date being in 2021.'