Concerns that Sizewell C rail plans could close pedestrian railway crossings
PUBLISHED: 05:30 13 February 2019
Email Samantha Simpson: JMMSuffolk@outlook.com
Plans for Sizewell C could have much wider reaching consequences, that's the warning from concerned residents in east Suffolk.
Twelve footpaths are earmarked either for closure or diversion if EDF Energy decide to use the railway for transporting construction materials for the nuclear power station.
Residents are concerned the closures could impact on walks across the east Suffolk landscape with crossings from Saxmundham to Westerfield being named by EDF as at risk of closure.
Ufford resident Adam Thomas is one of those objecting to the potential closure of the Melton-Bromeswell crossing, which he believes will ruin local walks around Ufford and Bromeswell.
“It’s one of the most lovely and pretty walks around,” said Mr Thomas.
Diversion routes have been suggested for the crossings but Mr Thomas says that some of the proposed routes are not suitable.
In Ufford, one of the proposed diversions follows a busy road.
“That road is not particularly safe,” said Mr Thomas, “there is a lot of farm traffic.
“I’m sure it’s less safe to have lots of pedestrians on that road.”
Ufford Parish Council is also strongly objecting to the planned closure.
Among its objections is the data, which suggests that the route is only used by six pedestrians or cyclists a day. The council believes that the number is in fact a lot higher.
It also questions the idea that the crossing should be closed because of safety concerns, stating that there have been no safety issues at the particular crossing in living memory.
A spokesman for EDF Energy said: “As part of Stage 3 consultation for Sizewell C EDF Energy is consulting on two alternative strategies to support freight movement.
“As part of the rail-led strategy there are 12 footpath level crossings, including Melton-Bromeswell, which are proposed for closure on the East Suffolk line with a diversion to nearby existing public rights of way (PRoWs).
“For Melton-Bromeswell there are five alternative diversion options proposed.
“The aim of different options is to maintain connectivity as far as possible by identifying suitable routes to enable PRoWs to be diverted, utilising new footpaths which link into the existing network.”