Hopes of A12 bypass rekindled
HOPES of a long-awaited by-pass which would take traffic away from four villages on the A12, were given a major boost last night.It came from energy firm EDF, which pledged to look at the traffic problems suffered by Farnham, Stratford St Mary, Marlesford and Little Glemham if Sizewell C gets the final go-ahead.
HOPES of a long-awaited by-pass which would take traffic away from four villages on the A12, were given a major boost last night.
It came from energy firm EDF, which pledged to look at the traffic problems suffered by Farnham, Stratford St Mary, Marlesford and Little Glemham if Sizewell C gets the final go-ahead.
EDF Energy has confirmed that if proposals for the new nuclear power station are given the go ahead then they will carry out a detailed transport assessment - which includes looking at improvements to that part of the road.
The prospect of a bypass has been in the pipeline for more than ten years and villagers thought they were going to get their wish after a planning inspector gave a proposed route the thumbs up.
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But the scheme was shelved in 1996 by the then Conservative Government because of a lack of funding.
However, last month's announcement by energy and climate secretary Ed Miliband that Sizewell is a preferred site for any new nuclear build has refuelled hopes that the much needed bypass could soon be back on the agenda.
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EDF Energy has already indicated it would like to build a twin reactor at the existing site, creating a Sizewell C which could be ready by the end of 2017.
Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning, said the French owned company would have to bank roll the whole scheme because it was unlikely any money would come from central government as it had all be allocated to other projects.
'The county council recognises the need for an A12 bypass and that has always been my stance but I can't see the Government opening up the coffers any time soon - whatever its political persuasion,' he said.
'The whole cost of the scheme would have to be met by EDF - there's no question about it. The total cost of a nuclear power station is likely to be in the order of �2billion so it would be petty cash to the French government.
'There are plans in place, everything is ready and it's pretty clear what we would like to do. It would most probably be a single carriageway with provision for additional carriageways if we find the funds. I very much hope it would be in place before Sizewell was built.'
A spokesman for EDF Energy confirmed that as part of their proposals for a new nuclear power station at Sizewell they would be carrying out a detailed transport assessment and this will include consideration of a potential A12 bypass.
'We are aware of the concerns local people may have and will aim to minimise the impact of road traffic associated with our development,' he said. 'We will be working closely with Suffolk County Council and the Highways Agency.'