Council bids for road improvements

A COUNCIL is asking the East of England Regional Assembly to prioritise improvements to the A12 between Lowestoft and Ipswich.It is one of the responses from Waveney District Council to the East of England Plan, the first stage of preparation of a new regional planning strategy, drawn up by the assembly, that will eventually replace regional planning guidance, structure and Local Plans.

A COUNCIL is asking the East of England Regional Assembly to prioritise improvements to the A12 between Lowestoft and Ipswich.

It is one of the responses from Waveney District Council to the East of England Plan, the first stage of preparation of a new regional planning strategy, drawn up by the assembly, that will eventually replace regional planning guidance, structure and Local Plans.

The plan identifies Waveney as a priority area for regeneration, because it has a weak economy and high levels of deprivation in some areas.

Although the South Lowestoft relief road and public transport services to Norwich are seen as schemes of regional significance, the plan does not include improvements to the area's link roads, such as the A12, A146 and A143, or to the East Suffolk rail line as its main concerns.


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Nevertheless, the council is recommending that the assembly upgrade the road and rail improvements to schemes that are vital to north Suffolk.

Councillor Wendy Mawer, portfolio holder for economic regeneration, said: “My priority is to talk up the infrastructure that is lacking.

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“While I think we can build up the economic growth, we will need to have in place the infrastructure that will attract more businesses, visitors and people into the area.

“The present road and rail system is insufficient. I do feel quite passionately that we are getting ignored.”

The council considers the A12 is of regional importance for Lowestoft along with a quality bus route between Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.

It also recommends that the East Suffolk line should be included as a route of significant importance because of its links with London and because of the recent increased numbers of passengers which has brought about a more frequent service.

Meanwhile, the improvements to the A143 and the A146, particularly between Carlton Colville and Worlingham should also be highlighted because the roads link the A14 with Lowestoft.

In addition, the council says that a third crossing of Lake Lothing should be looked into.

The plan also says 4,700 jobs should be created over the next 16 years but that relying on the existing job sectors of food processing, energy, port, transport and tourism for new positions will not be enough.

“A more radical change is proposed which builds on the burgeoning renewable energy cluster, broader approach to tourism, and supporting a research and teaching centre,” it says.

Waveney's response will be examined in public by a panel appointed by the Secretary of State before any proposed changes are published.

Further consultation will take place before the final plan is produced at the end of 2006.

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