A12: Minister pledges ‘careful consideration’ of bypass bid

TRANSPORT Minister Theresa Villiers promised that a bypass for four villages on the A12 would receive “careful consideration” if a funding application is made.

But the MP warned that it might not receive approval – with many communities across the country seeking similar projects and public spending likely to remain tight for several years to come.

Mrs Villiers, who spoke to the EADT about its campaign for a bypass during a visit to the Port of Felixstowe, said the Government sympathised with residents affected by traffic and congestion.

“So many places all over the country are campaigning for bypasses to relieve congestion,” she said.

“We are willing to listen to these issues and I will take the matter of the A12 back and talk to my ministerial colleagues in the Department for Transport, Mike Penning and Norman Baker.

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“If a funding application is received it will be given careful consideration, but we will have to take into account our limited resources.”

The EADT campaign, Bypass 4 The Villages, is aimed at improving the quality of life for people living in Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham – the route which the Ipswich-to-Lowestoft main road passes through.

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Residents have long been promised action on the route after scores of accidents and near-misses over the years and an intolerable impact on homes.

Suffolk County Council owns the road, but believes there is little chance of securing significant Government funding in the current economic climate.

Many believe the best chance of securing funding – estimated at �56million in 2006 – is through EDF, which plans to build a nuclear power station at Sizewell.

The energy firm, which has pledged to listen to villagers’ views, will be asked to contribute to local transport schemes if it gets permission to build the reactors.

Funding for a bypass was pulled at the eleventh hour in 1996 after a public inquiry gave the project the go-ahead.

The final say on building any new bypass will come from the Government.

Local MPs and Suffolk Coastal District Council have already said that they fully back the EADT’s campaign.

Nearly 200 people have signed the EADT’s petition, sending in coupons or signing up online, all calling for improvements.

? To show your support, fill in the coupon, or sign an online petition at www.eadt.co.uk/bypass4thevillages

? Transport minister “opens” new crane at port – Business, Page 21.

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