Barrow would be 'killed' by barrage bridge to Heysham

Artist's impression of the Bay Barrage Image copyright Barrow Council
Image caption A road would run along the proposed barrage

An £8bn barrage across Morecambe Bay has sparked renewed division among councillors.

The barrage and bridge would span Morecambe Bay between Barrow in Cumbria and Heysham in Lancashire. It was first discussed in 2004.

Barrow Council Labour member Beverly Morgan said it would "kill" the town.

However, Conservative councillor Alan Pemberton said it was a "game-changer" the council should not let "slip by without a fight".

The scheme would harness tidal energy by producing electricity from water flowing through the barrage and turning turbines.

It would produce enough to provide 2% of the nation's energy needs, developers have said.

Image copyright Barrow Council
Image caption The barrage would link Barrow in west Cumbria to Heysham in north Lancashire

Supporters say a road running along the bridge would create new business links and increase tourism in west Cumbria.

However, Ms Morgan warned it could lead to people using the road to shop or work elsewhere, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

"If people can go across a bridge and get to Morecambe and Lancaster much quicker, I think that could kill Barrow," she said.

Mr Pemberton said the Eden Project North planned for Morecambe would bring a ready-made supply of visitors who would use the barrage to visit Furness and Millom.

"This would make a Morecambe Bay crossing a tourist attraction in its own right," he said.

"This is the biggest game-changer for this town, Millom and the west coast that we can have, so let's not let it slip by without a fight."

The council is expected to discuss the plans further in January.

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