Sizewell C: Councillors come up with alternative transport option for proposed N-plant plans
12:00 14 January 2013
A HIGHWAYS group has come up with an alternative scheme to improve transport links if a third nuclear power station get the go-ahead on the Suffolk coast.
A Middleton-cum-Fordley Parish Council committee has suggested an “Option 4” concerning EDF Energy’s proposals for Sizewell C.
The group has serious concerns about the impact the development could have on the B1122, which is to the north of the planned site and likely to see a substantial increase in traffic – especially large HGVs.
The alternative scheme will be discussed by Middleton-cum-Fordley Parish Council tomorrow, with members set to decide whether or not to give it their full backing.
EDF is consulting on its plans for Sizewell C and in its transport documents has proposed improving the junction of the B1122 at Yoxford, saying that most materials for the new plant would be brought in via sea or rail and that park-and-ride schemes – to the north and south of Leiston – would reduce the number of vehicles using the roads.
But the parish council highways group has suggested building a new road in the direction of Sizewell off the A12, just to the north of its junction with the B1119, to run alongside the existing railway line. A park and ride scheme and lorry park could then be built close to the junction, with a rail loop at Saxmundham to improve links from Lowestoft.
The group believes the new route would withstand the increase in traffic, divert HGVs away from residential areas, consolidate all the facilities onto one site, cause minimal visual disruption and offer long-term legacy benefits by reducing overall costs, improving access to Leiston and providing a swift evacuation route and unimpeded access for emergency services.
A group spokesman said they had received “overwhelming” support from villagers and would also be seeking the views of neighbouring Theberton.
“The B1122 is not fit for purpose,” he said. “The solution is to build an additional loop on the rail line, to allow access from the Lowestoft direction, allowing the use of that port in addition to the jetty [at Sizewell] and, first and foremost, a new, direct, purpose-built road. Such a road would provide unfettered flow for heavy traffic on a suitable surface, better access for emergency services, a viable evacuation route and less impact on the environment.”
A spokesman for EDF said: “The current consultation on the initial proposals for Sizewell C will run until February 6. After that time, EDF Energy will review all of the feedback, comments and suggestions we have received before coming back for a further round of public consultation on our revised and updated proposals for the project.”