Wickham Market lorry park withdrawn from Sizewell C park and ride site proposals

A park and ride site is planned for Wickham Market

A park and ride site is planned for Wickham Market - Credit: Gregg Brown

EDF Energy has withdrawn proposals to build a lorry park on the edge of Wickham Market and Hacheston as part of the massive £14billion Sizewell C project.

The lorry park was put forward in the first phase of consultation to be sited alongside a park and ride scheme.

Villagers were dismayed at the prospect and feared up to 3,000 trucks could be parked on the site overnight, and even though it would be next to the A12 there were worries that hundreds of lorries would make their way on rural roads to reach it.

Tom McGarry, EDF’s head of communications for Sizewell C, said: “We will not be incorporating a lorry park in the proposals for the site at Wickham Market and it will just be a straight forward park and ride.”

He told Suffolk Coastal council’s Sizewell C task group that there had been no intention to park 3,000 lorries on the land.

Early forecasts predicted between 100 and 300 HGVs visiting the construction site every day – using the A12 and B1122. A lorry park for 50 to 100 vehicles had been pencilled in at the southern park and ride site to manage HGV flows, or this could be provided at a separate site, possibly in the A14 Europark or Seven Hills area.

The Wickham Market/Hacheston park and ride could potentially still accommodate a small area where lorries could collect deliveries from smaller vehicles, reducing the the number of delivery vehicles on the roads.

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Mr McGarry said the aim was to put in place a range of management systems to control the timing and number of HGV movements through the local road network.

He said: “We are looking at lessons learned from the Operation Stack system used for Felixstowe port and its use of technology to try to manage HGV deliveries and their slots, so that we have better communication between drivers and sites and the depots where they are coming from.”

To deal with errant drivers seeking an advantage or using the wrong routes, number plate recognition technology would keep track of movements and there could be serious contract penalties for repeat offenders.

No final decisions have been made yet on the park and ride sites, which will cater for up to 1,000 cars. Extensive archaeological work is taking place at the Wickham Market site.

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