Opponents take the stage at rail inquiry

EXTRA rail capacity for freight would not be needed if more use was made of coastal sea routes, a public inquiry was told.

EXTRA rail capacity for freight would not be needed if more use was made of coastal sea routes, a public inquiry was told.

Nacton resident Anthony Glaccum said the Port of Felixstowe should make more use of short sea feeder routes with other northern UK ports to tranship cargo.

He said this would enable containers to be sent in an environmentally-friendly way without the need for more lorries to be put on the roads for long journeys or for the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line to be dualled.

Dr Glaccum, of Felixstowe Road, told the public inquiry at Trinity Park into the £46.6 million dualling project he feared there would be more vibration from trains if use of the line increased.

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He wanted to put forward the alternative solution to save on road and rail transport and cut down on carbon emissions.

“Transporting containers by sea has many advantages as it doesn't unduly increase the noise vibration and pollution of the local community and it also does not require extra rail capacity to be put in place in future, such as the east coast rail link,” he said.

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Among other objectors was Doug Hart, of Kirton Road, Trimley St Martin, who made a plea for the Croft Lane level crossing to be kept open as it formed a vital link in a circular walk enjoyed by people for many years.

The only alternative was detour to Morston Hall and to use Stratton Hall Drift, leading to the marina, which was a dangerous road for pedestrians used by cars travelling often at high speed.

The Port of Felixstowe wants to dual four-and-a-half miles of the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line between Trimley station and Potters Hole, just past the new Levington bridge, to take around 300,000 lorries off the A14.

The government says the £240m expansion of the port can only go ahead if dualling takes place.

Freight traffic is reaching capacity on the line. At present 25 trains go in and out of the port every day - the maximum the track can take - and last year they carried 379,000 containers, 23per cent of the port's throughput.

The inquiry has been adjourned.

What do you think of the dualling project? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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