Nuclear boost to road campaign

One of the county's biggest road bottlenecks could finally be cleared - fuelled by nuclear power!

SUFFOLK: One of the county's biggest road bottlenecks could finally be cleared - fuelled by nuclear power!

Energy giant EDF has confirmed that it could help finance a by-pass for four villages on the A12 . . . if it is given the go-ahead to build a new power station at Sizewell.

That would mean relief at last for the villages of Farnham, Stratford St Mary, Marlesford and Little Glemham - and a much faster run for motorists to Lowestoft and the Suffolk coast.

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.

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 spokesman for roads, transport and planning, said the French owned company would have to bankroll the whole scheme because it was unlikely any money would come from central government.

“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,” 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.”

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.”

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