Sizewell residents demand new road

RESIDENTS in a hamlet dominated by the electricity generating industry are calling for a new road to be built - to reduce traffic problems and provide them with an alternative possible escape route.

By David Green

RESIDENTS in a hamlet dominated by the electricity generating industry are calling for a new road to be built - to reduce traffic problems and provide them with an alternative possible escape route.

Sizewell is currently the site of two nuclear power stations and is earmarked for a third.

Work on decommissioning the oldest nuclear station, Sizewell A, is due to start next year and last for decades, while construction of a sub-station linked to the Greater Gabbard Wind Farm, to be built more than 20 miles off the coast, is also expected to start next year.

Sizewell residents fear the volume of traffic, already heavy at peak times, will rise to unacceptable levels.

They are also worried that if there is a serious nuclear accident or terrorist strike the single road exit may become blocked.

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Calls for a new road were last considered by the Sizewell B inquiry inspector, Sir Frank Layfield, in the 1980s but he turned them down, partly because of the impact of the proposed route on wildlife-rich marshes.

Pat Hogan, residents' spokeswoman, said the volume of traffic on the only road leading to the hamlet was heavy and was likely to increase significantly at various times during the decommissioning of the A station.

There would be additional traffic during the construction of the proposed sub-station and underground power lines linked to the offshore wind farm.

“On top of this there is now renewed speculation about a Sizewell C power station. It seems ludicrous that one road will have to cope with all this traffic.

“People are also worried that if there is a major incident at the nuclear site, the only exit road could become blocked. They are unlikely to stay in their homes even if this is the official advice given at the time.

“We don't want a dual carriageway but we do need another road,” she said.

Ms Hogan said anti-nuclear campaigners had opposed the new road in the 1980s because they had mistakenly thought it would prevent construction of Sizewell B.

Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for highways and public transport, said it was “premature” to consider a new road before plans for a Sizewell C were even announced.

“In the event, we will look at all the options available and will widen our net to include improvements to the rail line,” he said.

Mr McGregor said in the present era developers expected to make greater contributions to infrastructure and the county council would be “vigorous” in its demands.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust said it would examine any plans for a new road to Sizewell.

“Notwithstanding the complex issues connected with nuclear power, the trust would strongly oppose developments which would have an impact on significant wildlife habitats,” said Audrey Boyle, spokeswoman.

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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