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New rail link ‘could cut Sizewell congestion’, claim campaigners

PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 March 2016

A computer-generated image of how the Sizewell complex will look after construction of Sizewell C.

A computer-generated image of how the Sizewell complex will look after construction of Sizewell C.

Archant

A pressure group is calling for changes to the rail network to enable construction materials for Sizewell C to be transported by train to avoid using the roads and protect residents.

The B1122 Action Group says “quite radical changes” are needed to infrastructure to minimise the impact of the work on the nuclear power station.

EDF say the B1122 will be the main access and estimates between 200 and 600 trucks will use the road through Middleton Moor, Eastbridge and Theberton each day, but say this could be 50% higher on busy days.

Up to 510 smaller trucks and vans under 3.5 tonnes are also expected to use it daily.

Roy Dowding, chairman of the action group, said if changes were made to the rail network most of the rail freight could travel to Sizewell from the north via Lowestoft. He believed construction of a service loop similar to the Ipswich Chord from near to Saxmundham to the Sizewell construction site could make huge difference.

The group is putting the idea through the Community Rail Partnership.

Mr Dowding said: “The great advantage of bringing freight traffic from Lowestoft would be the link down from the Midlands through a new Ely interchange and could open a supply chain to virtually the whole of the UK.”

This would avoid disruption on the already congested London main line where moves are afoot to reduce passenger travel times.

The group believed some materials could be brought in by sea but this route and successfully siting of a jetty could be more susceptible to the problems of longshore drift, coastline changes, and the concern over the impact on wildlife.

EDF Energy is expecting to launch its stage two consultation process for Sizewell C in the next few months once a final investment decision is made for the £18billion Hinkley Point C project.

This will provide more details about the overall plans – including improvements to transport links, the workers’ accommodation campus, and park and ride sites.

The company says a wide range of studies have been carried out over the past 12 months as part of the Transport Strategy and Environmental Impact Assessment for Sizewell C.

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