Bridge plans hampered

PUBLISHED: 06:06 15 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:01 22 October 2010

Plans for a third crossing in Lowestoft could be hampered by opposition to a proposal to move the town's railway station.

Plans for a third crossing in Lowestoft could be hampered by opposition to a proposal to move the town's railway station.

Urban regeneration company 1st East is leading plans to transform 500 acres of harbourside and lakeside land.

Central to the proposals is a third crossing, which the company says could be made far easier by moving the station a few hundred metres to the west.

But train operator One and landowner Network Rail object to moving the station.

If it is moved, 1st East says it would only be a few hundred metres to help integrate the Station Square area into the town centre.

The present station building, designed by Sir Morton Peto 150 years ago, would stay where it is, with new uses being found for it.

Carol Holland, marketing director for 1st East, said there was strong support in the initial public consultation period on the options for redevelopment.

"The suggestion of moving the station was to allow a third crossing to go over the harbour but not the railway line as well," she said. "That would make it a much more complex and more expensive project, and it would also mean the crossing would have to be higher.

"The other issue at the moment is that the town does not have a heart - roads break it up - and the idea is to bring the town centre back into the Station Square area.

"Moving the station a few hundred yards would create a new area and would achieve that."

1st East sees the idea of making the area a traffic interchange for public transport and, if a third crossing is built, making the A12 Bascule Bridge for use by public transport only.

And the idea of moving the station is being explored more fully as it works out its master plan, to be published in July.

Peter Meades, public relations manager for One, said its view was that the station was ideally placed in the town centre.

"We don't want to see it in a position which would worsen its location as far as the public is concerned," he said.

"There has been some discussion between 1st East, Network Rail and ourselves and further talks are planned. But if you were to build a new station 200 yards up the line, you are talking about significant sums of money."

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