Four villages bypass campaign steps up its publicity
PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 January 2015 | UPDATED: 08:16 01 January 2015
Campaigners battling for a bypass to alleviate long-running traffic concerns in east Suffolk have stepped up their publicity in a bid to garner greater support.
The Four Villages Bypass group has launched a website and Twitter account and displayed six signs beside the A12 in the affected villages – Stratford St Andrew, Farnham, Marlesford and Little Glemham.
The group claims a bypass is the only way to resolve long-standing problems with congestion and accidents in the four villages, which members say is caused by too many vehicles travelling along the narrow stretch of road.
With the construction of Sizewell C expected to increase traffic even further, campaigners, councillors and local MPs have called on EDF Energy, the power plant’s developer, to help fund the project.
Debbi Tayler, a spokesman for the group, said these latest initiatives were intended to maintain focus on the bypass campaign to keep up pressure on EDF.
“It’s about keeping things moving along and in the public eye,” she said.
“The situation is as desperate as it has ever been, there’s more traffic than before, and it’s been particularly noticeable over the holiday period.”
Scaled-down versions of the project, bypassing only the Farnham bend, have been proposed by EDF, however the group insists that only the full four-villages project will work.
“We are still very much behind the full four-villages bypass,” Mrs Tayler said.
“Just cutting off the Farnham bend would be a disaster, it would require another junction, which would mean even more traffic.”
The stretch of road has been the site of repeated accidents over the years, which the group claims has worsened over time.
Highlighting the latest example, in December, Mrs Tayler said bollards in the centre of the road had to be replaced when a mobile home crashed into them.
“The road is just too narrow,” she said. “It can’t cope with anything that’s slightly larger than normal.”
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter has surveyed his constituents in the area about their views on the four-villages bypass and will be publicising the results on Saturday.
EDF Energy said it was continuing to consult widely on its plans for Sizewell C and the wider infrastructure issues.
Visit www.A12bypass.co.uk or follow the group on Twitter – @A12bypass – for more information.