Cash boost to accelerate more transport schemes in the East

Visualisations of the Lake Lothing Third Crossing. PHOTO: Suffolk County Council

Visualisations of the Lake Lothing Third Crossing. PHOTO: Suffolk County Council - Credit: Suffolk County Council

An £800,000 boost has been given to accelerate work on a transport investment plan for the region for the next 30 years.

Transport East is planning a host of improvements to transport networks across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex in a new strategy that includes 55 priority projects.

Those include ambitions to improve rural transport, boost electric vehicle use, make transport more reliable and reduce carbon emissions.

A public consultation on the proposals closed in January, with the Department for Transport now confirming £800,000 in additional cash for the region to accelerate its work on the plan.

Transport East chairman Kevin Bentley said: “This is a testament to the expertise and value the partnership is bringing to the region and national government.

“It allows us to accelerate the delivery of priorities within our draft regional transport strategy.”

Around £460,000 has been allocated to Transport East-only projects, while £334,000 is to be used in conjunction with neighbouring regional transport partnerships, such as those in Cambridgeshire or Hertfordshire, on schemes that will be cross-border or more complex.

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Among other ambitions are hopes of improved connections for coastal towns, shifting freight to rail and sea transport and better infrastructure to and from airports.

However, concerns were raised by Suffolk Green councillors during the consultation that the plans did not consider sustainable measures enough, with more emphasis needed on public transport and low carbon alternatives.

Work on the strategy began around 12 months ago and has identified six key transport corridors:

  • Great Yarmouth – Norwich – King’s Lynn – Midlands
  • Suffolk coast and Norwich – Ipswich – Colchester – Chelmsford – London
  • Norfolk and Suffolk – Cambridge – Midlands – South West
  • Harwich and Clacton – Colchester – Braintree – Stansted
  • King’s Lynn – Cambridge – Harlow – London
  • South Essex – London – Thurrock – Basildon – Southend

Some projects in the plan are ones already in development or in the pipeline, such as Lowestoft’s Gull Wing bridge or the A12/A14 Copdock junction.

To view the draft plan visit www.transporteast.org.uk/strategy/transport-strategy/