MPs to meet minister over funding of Suffolk’s Four Villages’ By-pass

Residents have been campaigning for a Four Villages' By-Pass for decades. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Residents have been campaigning for a Four Villages' By-Pass for decades. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Three Suffolk MPs are to have a meeting with roads minister Jesse Norman in a bid to ensure that plans for a new Four Villages By-Pass to open up the “Energy Coast” remain on track.

The Department for Transport is still evaluating a bid from Suffolk County Council to build the new section of the A12 which would by-pass Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham between Wickham Market and Saxmundham.

Mr Norman is now due to meet Central Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter, Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey, and Waveney MP Peter Aldous to discuss the timescale for a decision – and when the road could be built.

The government and county council are hoping that a sizeable contribution from EDF which is considering building Sizewell C could help the push the scheme forward – but Dr Poulter said if they were waiting for such a contribution from the energy company the road would not be completed by the time construction started.

Dr Poulter’s constituency includes Marlesford and Little Glemham while Stratford St Andrew and Farnham are in Dr Coffey’s constituency. Mr Aldous will be at the meeting because of its importance of the road to Lowestoft and other towns and villages in his Waveney constituency.

The meeting will be held after Dr Poulter asked a parliamentary question: “Does the Department plans to allocate funding for a bypass on the A12 north of Wickham Market ?”

Mr Norman replied: “The Department is considering a funding request to the Large Local Majors Fund from Suffolk County Council for a bypass of the A12 around the villages of Marlesford, Stratford St Andrew, Farnham and Little Glemham.

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“The Department will announce a decision in due course on whether or not to provide funding for the scheme.

“This stretch of the A12 between Ipswich and Lowestoft may be eligible to meet the objective criteria for inclusion on the proposed Major Road Network.

“If so, local authorities may bid for funding from the National Roads Fund, subject to any proposals meeting the usual business case and value for money requirements.”

A spokeswoman for the county council said officials hoped to hear from the Department about the by-pass early in 2019.

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