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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 May, 2004, 07:14 GMT 08:14 UK
Morecambe Bay bridge considered
Morecambe Bay Bridge graphic
Plans to build a 12-mile bridge linking Cumbria and Lancashire across Morecambe Bay are being discussed by county councillors for the first time.

A consortium of private investors wants to build the massive structure from Barrow to Heysham in north Lancashire.

The Cumbria Tourist Board has already given its approval for the project, which could create up to 2,000 jobs.

Now Cumbria County Council's cabinet is giving its consideration to the scheme.

Tourism bosses believe the bridge could boost visitor numbers to south-west Cumbria.

The consortium, which includes Cumbria businessman David Brockbank, reckons the suspension bridge would shave up to an hour off road journey times between Lancashire and the Lake District.

Protection area

The plan also includes associated hydro-electric turbines to harness tide movements and a string of offshore wind turbines.

Lancaster City Council and Barrow Borough Council have already discussed the proposal.

Cumbria Tourist Board chief executive Chris Collier, said she was in favour of the bridge.

But environmentalists have warned the project will need to meet tough guidelines as the bay is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection Area.

Morecambe Bay is known for its coastal lagoons, salt marshes and varied animal life.

A spokesman for the consortium, which includes British, Australian and Dutch investors, said: "The government has given 1bn to promote wind power off Barrow, Morecambe and Heysham in the Irish Sea.

"We have the opportunity to make this a huge natural power platform which could become a showpiece for Britain."




SEE ALSO:
Bay bridge could create 2,000 jobs
08 Apr 03  |  Cumbria
Tourist drive for Barrow visitors
26 Mar 03  |  England


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