Further £8m needed for Lowestoft Lake Lothing Crossing in latest cost estimate
PUBLISHED: 14:59 26 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:04 26 June 2018
Kier and Mouchel
Consent has been given by Suffolk County Council’s cabinet to continue development plans for the Lake Lothing Third Crossing in Lowestoft – but latest figures say a further £8million is needed.
The cabinet last week unanimously approved the recommendation to authorise council leader Matthew Hicks to submit the cabinet’s consent for development of the scheme by the end of the summer.
Mr Hicks said: “It was extremely pleasing to see cabinet give their unanimous support for the Lake Lothing Third Crossing in Lowestoft and give their permission for the team leading the project to submit the development consent order to the Planning Inspectorate.
“People think very highly of this project and there are very high levels of public support for the third crossing in the town.
“The backing of the entire cabinet, along with our key partners, means we can continue progressing with this project, which will deliver more prosperity for Lowestoft, reduce congestion in the town and benefit businesses in the area.”
The council’s report said that evidence from the consultation revealed 96% of respondents were in favour of the project.
The £90million scheme was confirmed as receiving £73.3m in the then-chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne’s 2016 Budget, to deliver the crossing by 2022.
But latest cost projections published ahead of the cabinet meeting said there was “upward budget pressure of £8m”.
It is not yet clear where the funds for this will come from if costs do escalate.
Keith Patience, Labour party councillor for the Gunton ward near Lowestoft, said: “We all know that this crossing is absolutely critical for the economic development and regeneration of Lowestoft.
“The bridge is a vital infrastructure project to help ease congestion and improve the lives for those who live in the town, but we can’t simply hand over a blank cheque and watch the costs spiral out of control.
“In this time of tight fiscal restraint, Suffolk County Council must do everything it can to ensure that this project is delivered on-time and within budget to ensure that this much needed development gives best value to the taxpayers of Suffolk.”