The Government has today (Thursday 24 September) approved Norfolk County Council’s Development Consent Order application to build and operate a crucial new lifting bridge across the River Yare in Great Yarmouth.
The Great Yarmouth Third River Crossing will link the A47 at Harfrey’s roundabout to the port and the enterprise zone on the other side of the river. The bridge will ease traffic congestion on the town’s roads, shortening journey times and improving journey reliability, as well as support wider plans and work to maximise investment, regeneration and economic growth opportunities in the town and wider borough.
The Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps MP confirmed the decision in a letter, which marks the end of a year-long Development Consent Order process that began last September with a six-month examination period.
The council will now submit a final business case to the government which, if approved, would unlock £98 million of national funding towards the expected £120 million cost of the project. The remainder of the funding is likely to come from local sources. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021 with the bridge open for use in early 2023.
Cllr Graham Plant, Deputy Leader at both Norfolk County Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “This is fantastic news, we’re now tantalisingly close to making this much-needed bridge a reality. Not only will it make getting around so much easier for many people currently living and working in the borough but, crucially, it will support the town’s key industries, including those linked to the offshore energy and maritime sectors, tourism and manufacturing. This is more important than ever now as we seek to help Norfolk’s economy recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.”
The Rt. Hon. Brandon Lewis CBE, MP for Great Yarmouth, said: “This is excellent news, the Third River Crossing will be transformational for the whole of the Borough of Great Yarmouth, significantly improving traffic flows, which will help residents and visitors to get around. This improved traffic flow will also bring meaningful benefits to local businesses, especially those in the energy sector.”
Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I’m pleased to see this step forward towards construction of the much-needed third crossing in Great Yarmouth. The crossing will open up key land for redevelopment, helping to maximise the potential of the harbour and the industries which it supports, particularly our world-leading energy sector.”
In January 2019, the council announced it had awarded the contract for the Third River Crossing to BAM Farrans, a joint venture between two construction industry leaders. As well as being responsible for finalising the design of the twin leaf bascule bridge and its approaches, including a new roundabout on the west side of the river, BAM Farrans will also construct the bridge on behalf of the council.