Outcome of consultation suggests continued local support for Great Yarmouth's Third River Crossing
The results of a statutory consultation on Norfolk County Council's plans for a Third River Crossing in Great Yarmouth have been published and show that there continues to be significant support for the new bridge to be built.
Construction of the new lifting bridge over the River Yare is due to begin in late 2020 and would see a bridge built linking the A47 at Harfrey's Roundabout on the western side of the river to South Denes Road on the eastern side of the river.
The County Council ran a public consultation in late 2018, asking people for their opinions on the latest designs for the bridge and its approaches, proposals for how the bridge will operate and its likely effects on traffic in the town. When completed, it is expected that the bridge will reduce traffic congestion and shorten journey times in the town, which will support the local economy and help create jobs.
Overall 251 online questionnaires were completed, and a further 116 consultation responses were received by letter or email. When asked if they felt the bridge was needed 68% of those who responded to the question either strongly agreed or agreed that it was, and 57% of those who responded to the question on traffic levels felt that the bridge would cut congestion. Responses received by letter or email showed a similar level of support for the Third River Crossing and its capacity to reduce traffic congestion.
Cllr Martin Wilby, Chairman of the Environment, Development and Transport Committee at Norfolk County Council, said: "The general consensus from the consultation certainly reflects the comments I and others at the County Council hear about the bridge from local people and businesses. People can see the potential it has to make a big difference to the town, not only in everyday life but also to its future prospects."
Cllr Graham Plant, Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: "The Third River Crossing is a major investment in Great Yarmouth's future and I'm pleased that the majority of people who responded to the consultation feel so positive about it. When the new bridge opens in early 2023 it will have a fantastic effect on the borough, particularly in combination with the millions of pounds of other transport improvements that are being made."
The majority of respondents to the consultation were also generally supportive of the type of bridge being proposed, a twin leaf bascule bridge, and the road design and areas either side of the bridge, which include the creation of a new roundabout on the western side of the river and the provision of pavements and a dedicated cycling route on the bridge.
Just under half of people (46%) filling in the consultation questionnaire felt the proposals would minimise the impact on marine operations, with a number of respondents commenting that they lacked sufficient knowledge to comment on the impacts to marine operations and some suggesting that mitigating the impact on road transport was more important than mitigating the impact on river vessels.
The overall consultation results are being documented into a consultation report that will form part of the documents to be submitted in the application for a Development Consent Order later this spring.
The council has also made some minor changes to their proposals for the Third River Crossing in response to feedback received through the consultation. Further localised consultations on these amendments are currently being carried out. Details of these can be found on the Norfolk County Council website at www.norfolk.gov.uk/3rcconsultation.
In January the council awarded the contract for the final design and construction of the bridge to BAM Farrans, a joint venture between two construction industry leaders. Following a competitive tender process, BAM Farrans are now working with the project team at the County Council to finalise the detailed design and construction requirements for the bridge.
A report on the outcome of last year's Third River Crossing consultation is due to be discussed at a meeting of Norfolk County Council's Environment, Development and Transport Committee on Friday, 8 March at County Hall in Norwich. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
Issued by Norfolk County Council on March 1, 2019