Labour Councillors put an amendment to a motion at Suffolk County Council today (Thursday 19 December) which calls on the Conservative administration to carry out a full feasibility study into the 3rd Crossing of Lake Lothing by the end of the current Council term – and the Conservatives supported it!
Labour Councillors believe a 3rd Crossing will have an enormous effect on the level of traffic congestion in Lowestoft, and will also enable pedestrianisation of Station Square, thus massively improving the town centre experience for shoppers and holidaymakers. It will also relieve much of the traffic from Oulton Broad, thus enhancing this as a tourist destination.
Bob Blizzard, Labour’s Candidate for the next General Election, made securing the third river crossing one of his main priorities, both as Leader of the District Council from 1992 to 1997, and as Member of Parliament for Waveney from 1997 to 2010. During that time, working with the Labour-led County Council, he was able to secure the South Lowestoft Relief Road and the major part of the Northern Spine Road - Millennium Way. But the 3rd River Crossing still remains to be achieved, in order to complete the north-south route avoiding the bascule bridge.
Labour County Roads and Transport spokesperson Cllr Sandra Gage has been working tirelessly to move this forward, and has met with a wide range of stakeholders from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Associated British Ports and the Chamber of Commerce.
Cllr Gage said “To reverse the years of neglect by Suffolk County Council as highway authority, we need to restate the importance of the third river crossing. We are the only Party bringing answers to the table - we have had enough of talking, we need to see action.”
Sandy Martin, Leader of Suffolk County Council Labour Group, said “We are delighted that the Conservatives have agreed to support our amendment. The original motion merely asked for a commitment in principle. Labour has shown that commitment for many years already, as can be seen by the building of the Southern Relief Road. We also welcome the completion of the Northern Spine Road by the present County Council. Our amendment takes us a very significant step forward, ensuring that we get action soon rather than just more talk.”
Tod Sullivan, Leader of Waveney District Council Labour Group, said “Waveney Labour Councillors are 100% behind what our County colleagues are doing. We hope that all parties can support this, but we’re not going to compromise on the best way forward for Lowestoft if other parties are not willing to go the whole hog.”
Labour will be holding a conference in the spring of 2014 where all interested parties will come together to have their say on the plans for the future of Waveney.