Suffolk County Council has been kicking the Third Crossing into the long grass for so long that it is probably in a field outside Manaus by now. The latest ploy is to set up a consultation on its possible location: close to the Bascule bridge (i.e. a replacement); linking with the Asda roundabout; or closer to Oulton Broad. There still isn’t any money on the table, the time scale is from 10 years to infinity and Associated British Ports remains an obstacle.
The Hotel Victoria meeting on 11th June was an attempt to use the very sizeable weight of public opinion to break through this prevarication and to convince the audience that the Peter Colby solution of a Dutch-style barrage, which would allow a continuous flow of traffic while also forming part of urgently needed flood defences, was the best and most economic solution.
The attempt was overwhelmingly successful, although the 200 plus audience was already largely convinced. The meeting, chaired by Labour parliamentary candidate Bob Blizzard, was urged to participate in the SCC consultation and to press for the barrage system to be adopted. Support was expressed by new Labour leader Sonya Barker, the leader of the UKIP group on Suffolk County Council, Bill Mountford and UKIP parliamentary candidate, Simon Tobin. With local and national elections in less than a year’s time public pressure will count.
The meeting was another welcome sign that the people of Lowestoft are raising their voices. Consultations on the disgraceful cuts to mental health services saw angry opposition with 80% of respondents rejecting the plans. HealthEast is now desperately trying to rubbish the outcome.
A third crossing is no silver bullet. Jobs won’t magically appear in its wake and vital public transport needs are ignored. Waveney District Council is paid handsomely to grant planning permission for housing, hence its determination to write “housing” over the old industrial sites of Sanyo and Brooke Marine. It would be a tragedy to see the buildings, docks and infrastructure bulldozed while a buyer, Peter Colby, exists who is willing to buy, renovate and let them for industrial use. Lowestoft needs jobs not houses. Start here.
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Lowestoft 60+ Club