East Suffolk: MPs back bypass campaign

THREE of Suffolk’s MPs have given their backing to the EADT’s campaign to build a bypass and end decades of traffic misery for four villages on the busy A12.

Conservative MPs Dr Therese Coffey, Dr Dan Poulter and Peter Aldous said the construction of the four villages bypass was vital to the prosperity of the area and was essential to end the suffering of people who live along the hectic road.

Bypass 4 The Villages is an EADT campaign launched to press for action on the project, which was axed at the eleventh hour in 1996.

Residents in Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew, Marlesford and Farnham have spoken of the intolerable impact of increasing, heavy traffic thundering past their homes on the narrow, single carriageway road.

They believe funding for the Suffolk County Council-owned road could be secured from energy giant EDF, as it looks to build a new nuclear plant at Sizewell.

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The construction of the bypass would also improve links between Ipswich and Lowestoft, boosting the economy of the coastal strip.

The MPs said they would be working together to improve transport links for the area, both on the East Suffolk rail line and the roads – with the A12 as a top priority.

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Dr Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, said: “I fully back the move to upgrade the A12.

“I identified this as a key issue at the election and have continued to press EDF and Suffolk County Council for movement on the bypass.

“I call on the residents of the villages affected and all those with a wider interest to contact their local district councillor and make their views known.

“It is the district councillors that will make any planning decisions on the upgrade to the road.”

Dr Poulter, whose Suffolk Central and Ipswich North constituency takes in some of the route hoping to be bypassed, agreed with his party colleague.

He added: “The A12 between Ipswich and Lowestoft hasn’t had any improvements for decades.

“We know how badly those villages are affected and how poor the road infrastructure is.

“We are working to bring some leverage on EDF to commit to giving some money towards the bypass when it puts in Sizewell C.

“They really need to understand just how important this is.”

Mr Aldous, who represents Waveney, said: “One of my key priorities is to try to help to get more people into the Lowestoft and Waveney areas, and one of the things preventing people coming is poor infrastructure.

“The nature of Suffolk means we do a lot of travelling by car and we need to improve the roads, particularly the A12. I am delighted to back this campaign.”

The bypass scheme was costed in 2006 as �56million for a dual carriageway road – which would stretch from Wickham Market to the Friday Street junction at Benhall – or �32m for a single stretch of road.

The EADT believes that the road is needed to protect the villages – and to boost the economy of the county – regardless of any other development.

n To show your support for the Bypass 4 The Villages campaign, please complete the campaign coupon below, or visit www.eadt.co.uk/bypass4thevillages

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