Government promises decision on Lowestoft third crossing next week
PUBLISHED: 16:17 29 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:56 29 April 2020
The government’s decision on the third crossing in Lowestoft is expected next week after the go-ahead was pushed back for more than six months.
A decision on whether the third crossing will be built, which was due to be made in December last year but was delayed by the general election and coronavirus, will finally be made to the delight of many town residents and businesses across Suffolk.
Secretary of state for Transport, Grant Shapps, announced on Wednesday, April 29, that the government’s decision will be made next Tuesday, May 5.
The Examining Authority’s report into the project was submitted in September last year, but the final decision of whether or not the third crossing will be constructed will come in the next six days.
Leader of Suffolk County Council, Matthew Hicks, said: “I know there is a huge appetite in Lowestoft and the surrounding area for this project to continue and so I am pleased that we have a new date to work towards.
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“I look forward to receiving an announcement by Tuesday which will tell us if we have permission from Government to build the crossing.”
Expected to cost around £100 million, the crossing will be the largest public sector infrastructure project Suffolk has ever seen.
Waveney MP Peter Aldous said he would be waiting “on tender hooks” for the decision next week, stating: “I really am hoping and praying ministers make the right decision and we can get the green light.”
“This decision could have been made six months ago, and it should have been made sooner. The third crossing is a totem pole around which we can build a new Lowestoft and a new economy,” he added.
Suffolk County Council previously said they expected construction to begin almost immediately upon the project getting the green light, with the bridge hoped to open in 2022.
Mr Aldous said that, if the project is given government approval next Tuesday, it is “unclear what effect Covid-19 would have on a timescale for construction”, but added that the council were “very keen” to begin as soon as is possible.
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