Villagers furious after councillors give up on plans for A12 Suffolk bypass
PUBLISHED: 07:30 23 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:09 26 September 2019
Villagers have been left furious after new documents indicate that councillors have abandoned plans for a long-awaited £133million bypass of four villages on the A12 in east Suffolk.
Campaigners have been fighting for the route around Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham since the 1980s and say they are "appalled and disappointed" at the decision.
They believe the A12 is already "wholly inadequate" and - like Suffolk County Council (SCC) and East Suffolk Council (ESC) - feel it will be far worse when work starts on Sizewell C, a huge new sub station and wind farms.
EDF Energy is prepared to pay for a bypass of Farnham and Stratford as part of its case for the new twin reactor nuclear power station, but Government has refused to support the Four Villages Bypass (FVB), officially known as the Suffolk Energy Gateway (SEGway).
SCC and ESC has now accepted the financial problems with the plan.
A joint report on Sizewell C stage four consultation says: "After further discussion with EDF Energy the councils have regrettably concluded that it is no longer possible to deliver this much needed road in time for the crucial stages of the Sizewell C development.
"The councils gave serious consideration to continuing to pursue DfT funding as further opportunities arose, but this is not be a practical proposition due to the pressure of timescales.
"EDF Energy cannot postpone their development and will therefore want to proceed with its own two village bypass as set out in the Stage 4 consultation. There is no possibility of the county council seeking to build a further road during the construction period if EDF Energy proceeds with the two village bypass."
Lord Marlesford, chairman of Marlesford Parish Council, said: "I am appalled and disappointed. This road has been on the agenda for a long time - it has been much needed for more than 30 years.
"The levels of pollution from nitrous oxides has gone up hugely. It is dangerous for people living on that road.
"Also, there is vibrations from all the traffic, a lot of noise and terrible congestion.
"It is also a dangerous road to cross over."
Richard Cooper, lead for Marlesford on the response to the EDF Stage 4 consultation, said it would be "intolerable" if Little Glemham and Marlesford were the only villages without a bypass - and they "will now be condemned to having an unimproved single carriageway" stretch of the A12 running through the two villages and taking not only all the increase in traffic from Sizewell C but all the other energy projects on the Suffolk Energy Coast.
He said: "This general failure at all levels of government will result in a completely unacceptable outcome for residents living along the A12 in Marlesford and Little Glemham. What a waste when the opportunity to deliver a project that has been talked about since the 1980s was within everyone's grasp.
"We are furious that we have been failed by our representatives and are determined to continue the fight for a Four Village Bypass which we believe is the right highways solution, it is right economically, there is a good case for it from a business perspective and if it improves the lives of those living along this stretch of the A12 then it has a good social justification as well."
Suffolk County Council said its latest position was contained in the report.