Disappointment for A12 bypass campaign
VILLAGERS campaigning for an A12 bypass have expressed bitter disappointment after the plans were knocked back.Their upset was shared by Waveney MP Bob Blizzard, who described a decision by the ruling Conservative group at Suffolk County Council not to include an A12 four village bypass in the Local Transport Plan for 2005 to 2010, as “a kick in the teeth for Lowestoft”.
By Sarah Chambers
VILLAGERS campaigning for an A12 bypass have expressed bitter disappointment after the plans were knocked back.
Their upset was shared by Waveney MP Bob Blizzard, who described a decision by the ruling Conservative group at Suffolk County Council not to include an A12 four village bypass in the Local Transport Plan for 2005 to 2010, as “a kick in the teeth for Lowestoft”.
Along with a scheme for Brandon, it will be pushed into the next round of funding for works expected to start after 2010.
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The Conservatives agreed on Tuesday night that a bid should be worked up for an integrated transport scheme for Ipswich, and also backed schemes for Stowmarket and the A11.
Residents of Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham have been campaigning over many years for an A12 bypass and had hoped a bid would be drawn up and submitted for Government funding as a priority.
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Gary Miller, chairman of Farnham with Stratford St Andrew Parish Council, described the decision as “absolutely disgraceful”.
“If they have not even tried to get the funding to work up a proposed scheme they have no intention of pushing anything forward,” he said.
“It's affecting so many people's lives now and the problem gets greater every year and they seem to be delaying a decision year upon year.”
Peter Taverner, clerk at Marlesford Parish Council, said rush hour along the road was “extremely uncomfortable” for those living along it.
“It'll go down like a lead balloon, I can assure you. We have been, for many years now, trying to campaign for this road,” he said.
Peter Chaloner, chairman of Little Glemham Parish Council, said: “We are very disappointed it's not going to go forward and it's going to be delayed yet again. It's intolerable for everybody concerned.”
Mr Blizzard, who has campaigned for the scheme to be a top priority in the local transport plan to be submitted to the Government next year, described it as an “awful” decision.
“We have campaigned intensely for this upgrade of the A12 for over two years now. I conducted a survey of 300 local businesses which proved that the A12 was the top priority for our area, and individual firms wrote letters of support to the county council.
“It's our main link with the rest of the country,” he said.
Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council's portfolio-holder for roads and transport, said it was still backing the scheme and council officers would be working on it.
However, he said this would not yet be to the point of working up a bid for Government funding, which could cost in the region of half a million pounds.
He said: “What we are saying is in the next five year horizon the ones that are going to be started and completed are these particular schemes. In the meanwhile we'll be working on those other schemes that include Brandon and the A12.”