Motorists warned of Lowestoft road chaos

Motorists have been warned to stay away from the centre of Lowestoft during regular closures of the town's Bascule Bridge - or face a traffic nightmare.

Motorists have been warned to stay away from the centre of Lowestoft during regular closures of the town's Bascule Bridge - or face a traffic nightmare.

Road and council chiefs joined forces yesterday to stress the consequences of trying to drive into the town during five separate 58-closures of the bridge for a £2.3m maintenance project.

Nearly £500,000 has been spent on setting up park and ride bus services and a temporary pedestrian footbridge to minimise the impact of the closures during October, November and December.

Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for roads and transport, said: “We are doing our very best to provide alternatives for people to move around the town, but if there are a large number of people who don't take alternatives, there will be extreme traffic disruption in Lowestoft.”


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All closures of the bridge, which carries traffic on the main A12 through Lowestoft, will take place between 8pm on Saturdays and 6am on the following Tuesdays. The proposed dates for the Highways Agency project are October 20-23; October 27-30; November 3-6; November 17-20 and December 1-4.

Statistics released by traffic chiefs yesterday predict traffic levels during the Monday closures will run well above capacity for 13 hours unless people find other ways of getting into the town. Figures also show that half of those who get into their cars travel no more than two miles.

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The Highways Agency has arranged for a temporary swing bridge to be put up next to the Bascule Bridge to allow for pedestrians, the disabled and dismounted cyclists to cross Lake Lothing.

A free park and ride bus service will operate from former rifle range in Pakefield to the south side of the footbridge, while free buses will also transport motorists from the Ellough airfield to Beccles railway station, where people can continue into Lowestoft by train.

The Pakefield park and ride service will operate between 9am and 6.20pm during the Sunday closures and between 7am and 7pm on the Mondays. In Beccles, buses will operate between 10am and 6pm on Sundays and 7.30am and 6pm on Mondays. In addition, there will be extra pay and display car parking at Marine Parade in Lowestoft.

t For further details about the project, visit www.highways.gov.uk or call the Highways Agency information line on 08457 50 40 30.

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