Suffolk: Traffic survey held in support of Lowestoft river crossing to boost county’s economy
08:28 11 June 2014
A traffic survey has been conducted at a congested bridge in Suffolk’s second largest town to demonstrate the need for a new road crossing in support of the county’s economy.
Simon Tobin, UKIP’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Waveney, carried out the survey at the bascule bridge in Lowestoft in support of a £28m “river barrage” system to ease congestion.
During the exercise, held between 8am and 9am, 1,900 cars took an average of 21 minutes to travel two miles approaching the bridge.
Mr Tobin, a former Southwold mayor, said the findings revealed a “traffic nightmare” which is “strangling” the town and preventing it from becoming “one of the main business hubs” in eastern England.
The solution, he says, is the river barrage system, incorporating a lock with two crossings at either end so traffic can flow continuously unhindered by passing ships, which currently require the bridge to raise.
“This must be a number one priority and never allowed to become a ‘might do’ project,” he said. “It will completely regenerate Lowestoft and the entire region of East Anglia.”
Lowestoft businessman Peter Colby, who first raised the barrage proposal in 2012, said similar schemes had proved successful on the continent and would relieve the “terrible bottle-necks” caused by the current crossing.
“It stops traffic, creates enormous hold-ups and is detrimental to the lives of the 60,000 people who live here,” he said.
Mr Colby claims the barrage system would “equip Lowestoft for the future”, by improving port access and attracting thousands more visitors who are currently deterred by the town’s traffic problems.
Information about the proposal will be available at a public meeting at the Hotel Victoria in Kirkley Cliff Road from 7pm this evening.