‘These problems will only get worse’ - A12 bypass campaigners respond to new group opposing the scheme
PUBLISHED: 11:21 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:21 15 February 2018
Leading figures calling for a £133million bypass in east Suffolk have reaffirmed their commitment to the scheme after an opposing group raised environmental concerns.
The four villages bypass campaign has been running for 20 years with residents of Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham, complaining of traffic, pollution and accidents on the A12, which are feared to worsen when Sizewell C is built.
Campaigners were heartened this year when Suffolk County Council (SCC) submitted its case for the road to government, calling it the Suffolk Energy Gateway, and announced a decision was expected this spring.
This week, however, a new group – Say No to the Four Village Bypass – has raised concerns about the scheme and said its legal experts were investigating.
MORE: Campaigners warn A12 bypass would destroy ‘special’ countryside and pave way for hundreds of new homes
Group chairman Graham Peck, who lives in Little Glemham, raised environmental concerns, questioned whether the new road could pave the way for hundreds of homes, and said traffic issues could be dealt with through a smaller bypass at the Farnham bend, at far less expense.
Mr Peck said the campaign was growing as many thought the four mile road was not a sensible use of £133million of public money.
The campaigners in favour of the bypass have now responded.
Debbi Tayler, clerk for Stratford St Andrew and Farnham parish councils, said: “We appreciate there are some parishioners who are against a bypass but the majority of parishioners who responded to our survey were in favour of it. There is clearly a traffic issue on this stretch of the A12 which can be evidenced by the pollution problem in Stratford St Andrew and the problems of passing traffic at the narrow Farnham bend. These problems will only get worse with time.”
Mrs Tayler said the bypass would also provide better journeys to Ipswich, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.
Lord Marlesford said he sympathised with the objectors but claimed the bypass would be for the greater all-round benefit.
“I think anyone who finds their house will be closer to the A12 as a result of the bypass will quite reasonably be opposed to the bypass – and I think that applies to most of this group,” he said.
He said the route was chosen to minimise environmental damage.
SCC said: “We have noted and are currently considering the matters raised by the group.”