MP's petitition for Lowestoft bridge

The people of Lowestoft were yesterday urged to throw their weight behind a major new campaign to finally secure the cash for a third crossing in the town.

The people of Lowestoft were yesterday urged to throw their weight behind a major new campaign to finally secure the cash for a third crossing in the town.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard has launched a petition demanding that Suffolk County Council backs calls for a new crossing, to enable the project to get on to the all important regional agenda.

He believes there is enough public backing for a third bridge, because of the much-publicised traffic congestion problems in Lowestoft, to attract a five-figure response to the petition.

Mr Blizzard said: "This is the petition of all petitions. This is the final battle and it will be a long battle to get there.

"There is huge strength of support for this, but until we have the support of Suffolk County Council, we cannot take this forward."

At the moment, traffic travelling between north and south Lowestoft is shoe-horned through two crossings - the Bascule Bridge in the town centre and the Mutford Lock Bridge at Oulton Broad.

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Mr Blizzard added: "Lowestoft is continuing to grow and I fear the weaknesses of the transport system will be exposed even further.

"It is essential for the economic future of the town."

Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for roads and transport, said that because any third crossing would relieve traffic on the main A12 - a national trunk road - the buck should rest with the government.

"It is right and proper that Mr Blizzard should try to persuade the government to provide the funding for a third crossing," added Mr McGregor, who believes the project could cost as much as £50m

George Swietlik, chairman of the Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber of Commerce, was the first person to sign the petition at yesterday's launch.

He said: "For too long we have been going round in circles over the issue of the third crossing, trying to get this past the different levels of government."

The need for a third crossing is addressed by the 1st East Urban Regeneration Company's plans for the area, with two options up for consideration; one to the west of the current Bascule Bridge and the other over the centre of Lake Lothing.

Mr Blizzard's petition will be in shops and premises across Lowestoft. People can also register their support by logging on to www.bob-blizzard.co.uk and sending their name and address to his parliamentary e-mail, putting "third crossing petition" in the title.

To support the petition, contact Mr Blizzard's constituency office on 01502 580694.