East Suffolk: Campaign gathers pace in opposition to B1122 as Sizewell C’s transport route
PUBLISHED: 08:01 18 October 2014
Campaigners have issued a rallying cry in their battle against transport plans they claim will cause irreversible damage to communities in east Suffolk.
Around 100 people attended Yoxford Village Hall on Thursday night to highlight fears about EDF Energy using the B1122 as its main road transport connection during the construction of Sizewell C.
The route was said to be “totally unsuitable” for the volumes of traffic and would have a “huge impact” on the villages nearby.
To galvanise efforts, campaign groups and parishes, which have been working separately, were urged to present a united front.
Lynn Walford, speaking from the audience, called for a meeting involving all the affected villages.
“The only way that we are able to get our voices out there is to come together and form an action group for Suffolk,” she said.
“If we achieve that then we stand a chance of making EDF listen.”
Suffolk highways chief Graham Newman agreed the proposals presented so far by EDF had been “totally inadequate”.
He said the council had been carrying out its own study of the transport plan’s feasibility and would help the campaigners present their case for an alternative route - a new road leaving the A12 south of Saxmundham.
Marjorie Johnson, who chaired the meeting, described the offer as a “really exciting development”.
Members of the B1125 Action Group outlined more grounds for opposition.
Chairman Roy Dowding said it would impact on residents’ quality of life, risk road accidents, and disrupt local traffic.
He suggested the alternative “D2” route, first suggested during the construction of Sizewell B, would be better for everyone – including EDF.
The more direct route would save the company an estimated £10m in fuel costs, he said, while the advantages of a new purpose built route, less susceptible to closure, would be more reliable for deliveries.
Yoxford councillor Tony Middleditch raised specific concerns with the roundabout linking the A12 and B1122, which he said would mean traffic queuing aback to the A1120 junction in Yoxford .
“That’s the heart of the village - it’s our history and heritage,” he said.
“I don’t think anyone in Yoxford will stand for change at that junction because it would ruin the village entirely.”
A spokesman for EDF Energy said the company had shared its latest transport data with the councils and had planned workshops to follow.
“We are undertaking a robust transport assessment to inform our emerging proposals for the Sizewell C Project,” the spokesman added. “This is detailed and important work, which takes into account objective data, responses to consultation and planning policy guidance.”
The transport and traffic modelling work is expected to be presented in stage two of EDF’s consultation, in 2015.
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