Toggle mobile menu visibility

Herring Bridge information and booking

Road user information

Herring Bridge (Third River Crossing) became fully operational to all road traffic on Thursday 1 February 2024.

Bridge information

Herring Bridge (Third River Crossing) is a bascule bridge which crosses the River Yare in Great Yarmouth.

The Norfolk County Council bridge reference number is TG50157.

The location of Herring Bridge is near William Adams Way. It connects Harfrey's Roundabout (A47) on the west side of the River Yare to the peninsula of Great Yarmouth on the east side, at South Denes Road (A1243).

Go to our locations, maps and plans webpage for further information and to download an overhead plan of the Herring Bridge.

The bridge is a single-span, double-leaf bascule bridge. It has an opening span for marine vessel movement. New river walls have been built next to the bridge. They extend into the river channel to form the bridge protection structure. For further protection of the bridge and vessels, fenders are also provided.

The space beneath the bridge for vessels to pass is called the navigational envelope. The navigational envelope dimensions are:

When the bridge is in the lowered position:

  • 50m clear width between the front faces of the fenders
  • The clearance under the bridge will change with tidal movements. Air draught boards show the maximum clear height. The location of the air draught boards is on the western bridge protection structures, upstream and downstream of the bridge. The navigational envelope allows 4.5m clearance between River Yare water level and the underside of the bridge deck at mean high-water springs (MHWS) level.

When the bridge is in the raised position:

  • 50m clear width between the front faces of the fenders
  • An infinite air draught over the River Yare water level

Recreational vessel waiting pontoons

The location of the recreational vessel waiting pontoons is on the western side of the river. They are both upstream and downstream of the bridge protection structures.

Only recreational vessels that are waiting for a bridge opening can use the pontoons. There is no access to the quayside from these pontoons.

Passing under Herring Bridge

Herring Bridge Control operate the bridge 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

All marine vessels must contact Herring Bridge Control to book a passage under the bridge. This is regardless of vessel size. Herring Bridge Control will confirm if the bridge needs opening and will direct vessels accordingly. Vessels approaching and passing under the bridge must not exceed seven knots over ground (eight mph). This does not apply when a vessel is being used for a rescue operation, fire-fighting or for police or port operations.

Vessels must take care with vessel wash, avoid causing a nuisance to other vessels either moored or underway and pay particular attention to small craft alongside in the river.

The scheme of operations, which includes the opening procedures guidance, tells you the booking and opening procedures for all vessels passing under Herring Bridge. Bookings must be within the timescales stated in this guidance.

Download the Herring Bridge Great Yarmouth scheme of operation (PDF) [1MB]

Download the opening procedure guidance for passage of vessels under bridge (PDF) [1MB]

This guidance forms a scheme of operation in line with:

How to book a passage under Herring Bridge

To book a passage under Herring Bridge, read the opening procedures guidance first. Then use the contact details listed in the 'Contact Herring Bridge Control' section below to book a passage directly with Bridge Control. Alternatively, use the link to the online booking form.

Herring Bridge online booking form

Marine vessel communication and signals

Vessels approaching or departing Herring Bridge must make every reasonable effort to maintain contact with Bridge Control at specific contact times and contact points set out in the guidance document.

There are marine traffic light signals upstream and downstream of the bridge. Herring Bridge Control operate the marine traffic lights.

All vessels must observe and follow:

  • The light signals from Bridge Control
  • Any instructions from the Harbour Master (Contact via Peel Ports)

Red marine traffic lights

When the marine traffic lights show a red light, vessels do not have permission to pass under the bridge. Vessels must not advance beyond the outer face of the impact protection structure.

Green marine traffic lights

When the marine traffic lights show a green light, vessels that have booked an opening can pass under the bridge. However, it is the responsibility of the vessel to proceed only if it is safe to do so and to follow any instruction from the Harbour Master (Contact via Peel Ports).

Multiple Great Yarmouth bridge openings

A marine vessel may need openings of multiple Great Yarmouth bridges as part of its passage through the port. In this case, you should obtain bookings for Haven Bridge and Breydon Bridge openings from Peel Ports ahead of contacting Herring Bridge Control.

Contact Herring Bridge Control

Postal address: Herring Bridge Control Tower, Southtown Road, Great Yarmouth NR31 0LA

Passage booking:

Share this page

Facebook icon Twitter icon Email icon


Print icon