Fight hots up to reopen Lowestoft’s South Pier

CAMPAIGN: Anglers and residents have joined forces to protest against the closure of Lowestoft South

CAMPAIGN: Anglers and residents have joined forces to protest against the closure of Lowestoft South Pier. Steve Whybrow, centre, says the closure could have a major impact on the town's tourist NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Nick Butcher

Campaigners opposed to the closure of Lowestoft's South Pier stepped up their fight by launching a pressure group and organising a petition.

A new group – Pier Pressure – has been formed consisting of keen anglers and local people, who have joined forces to call for the pier to be reopened to the public.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Steve Whybrow said: 'Our aim is to regain public access to a much-loved part of the heritage of this town.'

The seaward end of the pier has been fenced off beyond the RNLI building by its owner, Associated British Ports (ABP), amid fears over public safety. The move came after Waveney District Council opted against renewing the lease on the pier.

In a joint statement, ABP and the council said the decision to close the pier until further notice was prompted by concerns over the ongoing costs of maintenance and public liability insurance. This stance remained the same this week, despite growing calls for public access to be restored.

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Mr Whybrow, a keen angler, said: 'The closure of the South Pier will mainly affect the town's tourism trade which will, in turn, have a knock-on effect for all local businesses, directly and indirectly. This could lead to the loss of some jobs and cause hardship for small businesses.'

He added: 'Apart from the financial impact, the pier has some very valuable memories for many – including photographers, birdwatchers, anglers of all ages and abilities, and people who gather to say goodbye to loved ones whose ashes are scattered at sea by the lifeboat.'

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The scattering of ashes at sea is a discretionary service which can be organised on Sundays while the Lowestoft lifeboat crew carries out its weekly training exercise.

For information on the campaign email

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