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New Crossing To Start In 2020


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The idea behind the new crossings for Great Yarmouth & Lowestoft is one bridge can be opened while the other is raised improving traffic flow in each Town whilst maintaining access for Boats.  In theory it should mean Haven Bridge in Great Yarmouth becomes less of a restriction to Boats given that an alternative route for traffic will always be available whilst each bridge is open. 

For anyone living in this area the introduction of these crossings is long awaited and vitally important for future economic growth.

The last I read about the proposed Lowestoft crossing is there is now a 7 million shortfall.  I would also say If it came down to it Lowestoft is the Town most in need of a third crossing. 

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Sorry Griff, no it hasn't. Who knows what could go where before Potter Heigham bridge was there.

Th BA has responsibility to maintain the navigation. In the past Broad Ambition would have been able to go under Potter as often as not. This is no longer the case. Has this part of the navigation been "Maintained"?

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They appear to be incorporating a couple of floating pontoons which will be useful for those entering the Broads from the coast. 

At present we always enter at Lowestoft as it is a long trudge up through the docks at Yarmouth with nowhere pleasant to moor but that does then mean that we have the faff (and expense) of entering at Mutford Lock.

The last time we entered there they got us into the lock, insisted we tied up fore and aft, extracted our cash from us for the lock transit and then opened the gates onto the Broad for us to head to the yacht station to pay for our licence. Wasn't even worth tying up!

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The BA has responsibility to maintain the navigation. In the past Broad Ambition would have been able to go under Potter as often as not. This is no longer the case. Has this part of the navigation been "Maintained"?

MM - I would reply that the immediate area around PHB and Potter itself has been maintained. That is to say the Thurne owners have maintained their own quay headings etc. But the problem we face nowadays for less airdraft is not in the immediate area, it is the Lower Bure.  I have found my previous post on this subject and pasted it below for your perusal:-


'Not that old chestnut'  -  Do you know something?  I sometimes despair I really do especially on this topic of the Lower Bure dredging.

For those of us that can cast our minds back to the sixties and seventies when the then Gt Yarmouth Port commissioners looked after the Broads, (Six staff in the office - Dozens out on the rivers) there were a pair of large tracked cranes on each side of the Bure below Acle Bridge.  They were there all year round on permanent duties of dredging the Lower Bure.  The method used was the time honoured grab bucket and chuckit onto the bank system.  The cranes did not operate 365 days a year but some of it and they were on station ready to commence action, they especially concentrated on the bends of the rivers. Hardly did one see a barge to transport the mud to another location.

Now the above paragraph is not my opinion, it is not a theory it is plain and simple fact, one countless visitors and locals have witnessed and accepted as the norm


Over the years I have talked to quite a few genuine 'Broadsmen' (And yes sometimes Women too) that work and live around the Thurne / Bure system.  They have been on and around the water for decades, not just a few years.  They tell me that in those days passage under Potter Heigham bridge was the norm and only exceptionally high tides stopped craft from making the passage. Indeed the two side arches used to be boarded up to deter attempts from dinghys and the like attempting using the side arches.

This also is not my opinion, it is not a theory it is plain and simple fact one countless visitors and locals have witnessed and accepted as the norm


Then the Blessed Authority came into being.  The two regular crane dredgers disappeared  from their normal work stations.  Slowly but surely over the years the Lower Bure has silted up, especially on the corners.  You can witness this with your own eyes

This also is not my opinion, it is not a theory it is plain and simple fact one countless visitors and locals have witnessed and sadly had to accept as the norm


It's a 'happy coincidence' for the Blessed Authority that the then fairly new topic of global warming and rising sea levels came to their rescue.  Now they could and did and still do blame less head room at PHB on rising sea levels, this in their eyes 'Gets them off the hook' with regards to dredging the Lower Bure.  But because we have lost the power of the system being flushed out strongly enough like it used to do we witness silting in places like Hickling Broad, and even more so in GYA, even opposite the yellow posts and that hardly ever used to happen. Coastal ships used to moor there regular.

Those 'Broadsmen / Ladies' I mentioned earlier state it is not rockets science, dredge the Lower Bure and the balance that the northern Broads enjoyed for decades will return.  I for one agree with them.  And here's a thought.  Why not just dredge the Lower Bure, silted bends, Marina Keys, under the two bridges and opposite the yellow posts just the once.  Do it properly.  Then if it doesn't have a positive effect on the Upper Bure / Thurne, those Broadsmen will go and eat their hats and I'll join them.

Oh but hang on a moment, the cynic in me shouts that the Blessed Authority know full well what will happen if the Lower Bure is cleaned out, it will show up shallow water all over the Northerns that they should have been maintaining way before now and expose them to howls of complaints and derision from owners / hirers, anglers, Local dwellers, businesses etc etc -  the whole shooting match and the Blessed Authority does not want that, they could not stand the heat.  The last thing they want is to act on maintaining what we have.  Nope, they want expensive follies like that proposed at Acle that the good Dr P. can have his name on a brass nameplate for time immemorially (Big Word)

There are still some that say, even possibly believe that ceasing of regular dredging of the Lower Bure is no proof of higher river levels at PHB.

Incredulously they even state there is no proof that ceasing of regular dredging of the lower Bure reducing the scavenging effect has caused the silting at Marina Keys, and down to the yellow post turning area.

However to add balance - There are still some that believe that a pair of Penguins walked from Antarctica to the middle east to board an Ark too, not to mention the flat earth society that meets every year travelling from around the globe


Here's the killer question for those who think / believe dredging the Lower Bure will have no positive impact on the Upper Bure / Thurne systems:-

Why did the Gya Port Commissioners spend year after year after year with dredgers on site ready to go when silting started to occur on the Lower Bure especially on the bends.  Just why did they do that if it would have had no positive impact?  If there was no positive impact over the years and years of experience / knowledge gained they would have stopped doing it would they not?

Your Honour - My case is rested !



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Going down the Bure towards Marina Keys there are several posts

on the bends that I don't remember being there in the 60's and 70's

when I went regularly. I agree with Griff, if all that silting were

dredged then the outflow would increase and so lower the levels

at Potter etc. Arn't they dredging around Marina Keys now though?

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I believe there is one more factor at play as well Griff. The 20 year flood alleviation project has made things worse in my opinion. In various places on either side of the Lower Bure they have created lagoons just off the main river which is linked to the main river via drainage pipes or canals. As the tide floods these lagoons start to fill and therefore slow down the incoming tide and scour effect. When the tides starts to ebb, guess what, all the lagoons have to empty as well meaning the upper river doesn't have such a flow, or scour. Much of this was done on purpose to ease bank erosion by slowing down the flood and ebb and running it off into the newly created lagoons. Places such as Horning, by the ferry still seem to flood, or even flood more. The flood alleviation project re-instated the river banks back to previous levels, but also seems to have protected all the marshes which used to flood at very high tide. The flood plains have also been protected. Look at a map of the Lower Bure, in particular the big loop on the Lower Bure. This could largely be used as a flood plain, for high tides only.

What I would have done is to pump the new lagoons dry and set an overflow into them set for very high water. For normal course of events the tide ebbs and flows and cannot get into the new lagoons, creating a faster and stronger ebb and flood. On very high tides the water would overtop into the lagoons thus protecting the properties further up stream. Once the high water recedes pump the lagoons dry again.

Alternatively, dredge the lower Bure properly and fill in all the new lagoons with the spoil. Then lower the river bank slightly at strategic places next to the marshes that used to be the old flood plains. On high tides water floods the flood plains as they used to, thus protecting the properties up river. On normal tides full ebb and flood goes straight up and down the river with a strong current.

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This was done for a number of years to stop the bridge 'stretching' out. In short what was happening was the two sides of the bridge were heading away from the centre span. What I cannot find out anywhere is why did the cross bracing cease? I am no expert but if you stop something moving and then remove the thing stopping it moving surly the original movement can then return - clearly this was a very ugly look having it braced. I found the above out as on Broad Ambition we used to have a book about the Potter Heigham Plan - distributed by the local authority back in the 1970's it spoke of a lot of works to be done in the area and bringing he chalets into line with proper planning for any future works and so on.

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