Suffolk: Bypass group to hold talks with MPs Dan Poulter and Therese Coffey tonight

A lorry negotiates its way through Farnham A lorry negotiates its way through Farnham

Thursday, August 7, 2014
1:21 PM

Campaigners for a bypass in east Suffolk are tonight stepping up pressure on politicians to resolve the transport “nightmare” that has plagued their communities for years.

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Heavy traffic squeeze through the narrow gap on the A12 through the village of Farnham



Photo: Colin Shaw



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EADT 30.11.09Heavy traffic squeeze through the narrow gap on the A12 through the village of Farnham Photo: Colin Shaw EADT EADT 3 07 04 EADT 26 07 04 EADT 3 09 04 EADT 30.11.09

Members of the Four Villages Bypass Campaign group will be meeting for long-awaited talks with MPs and seeking support for their calls to have the A12 diverted around Marlesford, Little Glemham, Farnham and Stratford St Andrew.

People living in the affected villages say congestion has reached intolerable levels and will only worsen if the Sizewell C nuclear power plant is approved.

The group’s calls for EDF Energy and the Department for Transport to commit funding for the scheme have so far failed.

During crunch talks tonight, campaigners will urge Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey and North Ipswich and Central Suffolk MP Dan Poulter to use their political power to reach a solution.

Debbi Tayler, clerk for Farnham with Stratford St Andrew Parish Council, said the meeting’s outcome would be “vital” in determining a solution.

“I think it’s essential that the MPs hear how important an issue this is among the community and I also think it’s important for us to hear from them what they are able and willing to do to help us achieve that,” she said.

“We’re hoping the MPs will be able to give us some proper support in our bid for the bypass and will offer to work with the county council, Department for Transport and EDF in finding a viable solution.”

Mrs Tayler said the group had grown increasingly frustrated by the lack of movement on the issue as the traffic “nightmare” continued to deteriorate and pose air pollution health risks to residents in the village.

County councillor Stephen Burroughes will also be attending, having pressed for a meeting with the MPs.

“The whole point of this meeting is to get the MPs together to put pressure on the roads minister and EDF to put their hand in their pocket for a complete solution rather than the piecemeal options that have been put forward so far,” he said. “We are not going to let them off the hook - they need to step up and it needs to be now not later.”

Lord Marlesford, a long-term supporter of the campaign, said he would be impressing upon MPs the importance of progressing the plans immediately while there are options of securing an element of funding through EDF.

“Both the MPs have at various times supported the bypass proposal so it’s now a matter of them talking to their colleagues in the department of transport to say this is the moment for the money to be allocated and allocated now,” he said.

Dr Poulter said the county council were the “key players” in getting the bypass, adding: “The point of the meeting is to impress upon the county council the importance of the infrastructure money to support the road improvements around the four villages.

“We need to listen to residents’ concerns and to then take the campaign to the county council that we need to have road improvements as part of Sizewell C.

“I’ll be making the point about rail improvements and also the visual impact of Sizewell C.

“We’re doing all we can and will continue to but it’s down to the leadership of the county council to make sure they work with us to deliver the best possible deal for the four villages.”

A spokesman for EDF Energy said the company would be undertaking a “robust transport assessment” to guide its Sizewell C Project. “This is detailed and important work, which takes into account objective data, responses to consultation and planning policy guidance,” the spokesman said.

The company will be prioritising sea and rail delivery and building a park and ride facility to take workers off the road.

Dr Coffey and county councillor Graham Newman, cabinet member for roads, transport and planning, were unavailable for comment.

6 comments

  • the 4 villages by pass is a necessity for the ever growing local villages of SaxmundhamLeiston alone not to mention Sizewell C and the Felexstow side of life. This should of been done 30 years ago

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    love leeds

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Compulsory purchase of beloved family homes and the subsequent demolition of grade 2 listed Suffolk cottages to 'straighten the road.' Get real! The logical route would be to follow the railway line to the east.

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    Ipswichite

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • With 4m TEUS of freight, an ever growing Ipswich and Northern Fringe the whole route via Ipswich will be gridlocked in 20 years. The villages north of Ipswich campaigning against a Northern Bypass will be exactly the same ones screaming for a northern bypass once Northern fringe is complete !!NOW is the time to strive for an A14, Northern bypass for Ipswich !!! Reasons why: • Felixstowe is the only major container port in Europe without a motorway connection. It is also restrained by a single track railway. • when the Orwell bridge opened in the early 1980′s the port of Felixstowe handled around 300,000 TEUS (twenty foot equivalent units) per year. Roll forward 30 years and it is heading towards 4 million TEUS per year ! Thirteen times the volume. • 40% of the entire nation’s imports (and sadly much fewer exports) now arrive at Felixstowe and bypass Ipswich (also a main port) via the magnificent Orwell Bridge. • Despite Felixstowe’s status as Britain’s foremost container port, there has been little new investment in roads or rail since 1982. • Around 30,000 local jobs rely on trucks & trains getting through. However, successive governments, and most notably Suffolk County Council have taken Felixstowe’s status for granted. • To serve these distribution hubs, our Felixstowe and Ipswich truckers have to battle the A14 for 120 miles before they meet motorway (with acute bottle necks at Orwell Bridge, Cambridge, Huntingdon and the M6 junction). • There is, for the first time, serious competition from the new London Gateway terminal; a port every bit as big at Felixstowe. On the north bank of the Thames, London Gateway is just 5 miles to motorway connections and offers 120 miles of motorway to the mega midland distribution hubs. • Rail investment is to be welcomed, but let’s not fool ourselves, rail is NOT cost effective on such short distances and to where the majority of our deliveries must take place. Even with projected investment rail, it may only take 750,000 lorries off the road (by 2030). Yet that still only accounts for just 20-25% of Felixstowe’s distribution. so 75-80% will always be via the road. • The future prosperity of Greater Ipswich, Felixstowe and Suffolk relies on a quality A14 routing; so a Northern bypass for Ipswich; plus a dual rail line is not a wish, but an absolute necessity for Ipswich & Suffolk’s economy.

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    Mark Ling

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • It would be far cheaper and far more sensible to compulsory purchase these people's homes, build them new ones elsewhere, and just straighten the road. Instead, these blinkered people would rather shift the problem of noise and congestion further south to impact on other villages.

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    Origami Penguin

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • The other key road priority for east Suffolk is the Ipswich northern bypass. Perhaps Dan can remind SCC when he meets them.

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    amsterdam81

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Do I at last detect some 'joined up' thinking ?, good god just how long does it take to sink in to some peoples heads, that a 'Bypass' is the only real and proper answer to all of the problems on that Road ? the congestion, the pollution, the accidents, the developments !, not to mention the time and cost to business !

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    freedomf

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

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