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MP says survey shows there is ‘overwhelming’ A12 bypass support

PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 January 2015

The four villages bypass campaigners pictured at the Farnham bend

The four villages bypass campaigners pictured at the Farnham bend

A Suffolk MP says there is “overwhelming support” for building a congestion-easing bypass in the county after surveying his constituents in the affected communities.

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter sent surveys on the four villages bypass proposals to 881 households in Marlesford, Little Glemham, Great Glemham, Hacheston and Sweffling, to gauge support for the long-standing proposals.

More than a third of people (35.3%) replied to the survey, of whom 85% supported the bypass proposals.

Dr Poulter said the response rate was “unprecedented” and demonstrated the high strength of feeling on the matter.

The proposals to build an A12 bypass around Stratford St Andrew, Farnham, Marlesford and Little Glemham, to ease congestion have been in the pipeline for many years.

The EADT-backed campaign has grown in response to EDF Energy’s proposals to build Sizewell C, as the increase in traffic associated with the construction of the power plant is feared to place an intolerable strain on the road.

Dr Poulter has spoken of his desire for EDF to help fund the bypass proposals and urged Suffolk County Council to take a firmer stance in its role as lead negotiator.

He hopes the results of this survey will increase pressure on EDF to contribute.

“There’s clearly a very large strength of feeling about a number of issues involved,” he said.

“More than a third of people took the time to respond to the survey, which is unprecedented, and clearly identifies that it is of great importance that EDF pays its fair share towards the infrastructure projects that are needed as a result of Sizewell C.”

Other findings in the survey showed that more than half of people responding felt EDF had not informed them on its current proposals.

And there was also strong opposition to the proposed park and ride facility in Lower Hacheston, which would ferry construction workers to and from the site.

Dr Poulter said: “Very clearly the people in my constituency that are most affected by this proposal have raised concerns about the inadequacy of the consultation to date.

“It’s vitally important that the county council take on board these views and I will be working with (county councillor) Stephen Burroughes and (highways chief) Graham Newman to fight for a better deal from EDF than is currently on the table.

“EDF have some questions to answer about the quality of their engagement – they’ve been quite high-minded and dismissive about community concerns.”

EDF Energy said it notified every home and business in the local area in advance of stage one, so they could play an active role in the process.

“We engaged with over 4,000 individuals and organisations during Stage One, with nearly 1,300 responses received,” a spokesman said. “The company offered the local parish councils, including those surveyed, a presentation on its stage 1 proposals and over 20 parishes in the area took up this offer.

“EDF Energy continues to consult widely on plans for Sizewell C and has planned a further formal stage of consultation in response to requests from the public during Stage One.”

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