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

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.

5 comments

  • mk2bfk, glad to hear the curve is now in use and about the felixstowe upgrade but on that one I don't think it will have double tracking all the way along the line will it? Like you I prefer a rail link as it will an upgrade to existing track so cheaper and probably less destructive to the environment than a new road. A road will probably be of wider use to the public than rail but I don't think the amount of new use would justifiy the cost of a road and of course, hopefully we will enventually have a Sizewell D so the rail would come in handy for the construction of another power station. Also, if it's a road then the case for by-passing a number of villages on the A12 will become overwhelming due to the extra heavy goods traffic but I think they should be by-passed anyway. Only downside of that is the house owners in those villages will get an unearned increase in their wealth as their house prices go up! Oh well we can't have everything I guess.

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Friday, March 18, 2016

  • Gobby - Bacon factory curve has been in use for several years with no issue and around 20 trains a day use it. Felixstowe line will see upgrade work starting next year. As for a new road just south of Saxmundham, clearly you don't use the road very often, it's the bit between Saxmundham and Ipswich that's the issue! The point of increasing the rail usage is that'll it'll solve many problems of traffic and the railway is mostly there up to Leiston anyway so it won't even be particularly expensive.

    Report this comment

    mk2bfk

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

  • Just build a road from South of Saxmundham, over the railway and direct straight line to the site. Works for construction, eveacuation and day to day travel. To put it another way, everyone benfits, always, rather than the few years during the build. A railway revamp' would cost massively and only benefit construction.

    Report this comment

    Dean

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

  • Oh yes, and I forget to mention the expensive and much vaunted 'Bacon Curve'. Is it in service yet or are the rail freight companies still refusing to use it?

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

  • Of course it would help but don't hold your breath. We have Felixstowe, one of the busiest ports in the whole of europe and is served by a mainly single track rail line that looks like it would be more at home in the third world! And still the yap goes on. I hope sizewell does get an upgrade to the line but we need to remember that the UK is the home of talk, not doing. And when the medievalist Greenshirts hear about the proposal, they will bring down bloodcurdling predictions of doom and fearful curses on the idea. Remember those earthquakes in Japan and the USA that brought down miles of overhead roadway and how soon they were fixed. They would still be in ruins if they were in the UK.

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

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