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'We don't need a new Sutton Bridge crossing'

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Concerned Sutton Bridge councillors have questioned the wisdom of spending £100 million-plus on a new A17 crossing.

As revealed on today’s front page - executive councillors are looking ahead for the future of Cross Keys Swing Bridge, and want the Government to think about funding a new structure.

For now, they agreed to re-painting and maintenance works.

The Cross Keys Bridge (49013289)
The Cross Keys Bridge (49013289)

Sutton Bridge councillor Michael Booth feels it is important this is carried out. He said: “It’s going to be a big job to paint, but it’s going to be a hell of a bigger job if it goes wrong due to lack of maintenance.”

Coun Booth, a South Holland district councillor, remembers a past plan for a new bridge - before the new A17 was built in 1989.

He said at that time it was proposed to build a structure high enough for boats to pass underneath - but that this would need to begin back level with Princes factory to reach the required height.

Coun Booth believes it will not be worth replacing Cross Keys Swing Bridge - not least because it is a Grade II* listed building and would likely still need to be kept and maintained.

He added: “It can’t just be left to rust away.

“I was all in favour of a fixed bridge going across the river but due to what’s happened and the cost I am saying let’s use the old one. Why spend all that money?”

Jack Tyrrell, county councillor for Sutton Bridge, also thinks the project would be a waste of money - and fears that a new structure could be an ugly blot on the landscape.

He said: “Sutton Bridge likes that bridge because it’s got a bit of history.

“If you have got to keep it there I don’t see the point. We have still got to open and shut it - so what’s the point of putting another one next to it?”

He added: “I think Sutton Bridge would be glad to have £100 million and do something else with that.”

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