Enormous power station loads highlight need for Sizewell C relief road
Ipswich Star, 25 January 2016 by Richard Cornwell
Campaigners say traffic chaos caused by the movement of heavy loads to Sizewell B is a “terrifying indication” of what life will be like if another nuclear power station is built.
An electrical transformer being moved along the B1122 through villages to Sizewell B next to a TEAGS poster campaigning for a relief road – residents said the traffic chaos caused is a “terrifying indication” of what the road will be like if Sizewell C is ever built.
Last week three enormous pieces of electrical equipment were transported by road from Lowestoft docks to Sizewell – the slow-moving convoys caused disruption over three days on the B1122 as it made its way through small villages.
The three electrical transformers will replace existing equipment at the power station during refuelling and maintenance work taking place in April.
Residents who have been campaigning vigorously to prevent the B1122 – which runs from the A12 to Leiston – being used as route for Sizewell C construction traffic were horrified at the disruption caused.
Jon Swallow, chairman of TEAGS (Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell), said: “The movements of heavy electrical equipment for Sizewell B on the B1122 last week gave this rural community a terrifying indication of what is in store when Sizewell C is given the go-ahead.
“We face up to 600 lorries a day for perhaps a decade, unbelievably on a winding country B road.
“TEAGS, which is neither for nor against nuclear power, seeks to protect our communities from the impact of some of EDF’s construction proposals as they stand at the moment.
“Without a Sizewell relief road, the noise, air pollution, vibration and traffic chaos would be intolerable for all living along or close to the B1122, and threaten many listed buildings. The impact will also be felt by those in Middleton, Yoxford and Saxmundham.
“Let’s not forget that the B1122 is currently the only means of access for emergency vehicles, and evacuation of people.
“EDF and Suffolk County Council must pursue the case for a Sizewell relief road direct from the A12 to the Sizewell site to alleviate all these problems.
“A better solution must be found for this massive construction, which would be one of the biggest building projects in Europe.”
An EDF spokeswoman said the three separate trips and slowness of the vehicles was for safety reasons.
She said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Sizewell B wrote to the parish councils along the route in advance of the deliveries and worked with the police to minimise the disruption as much as possible.”
EDF Energy is continuing to develop its proposals for Sizewell C which will be subject to further public consultation. The company said it has carefully analysed responses to previous consultation, engaged with parishes and community groups, held regular discussions and workshops with councils, and carried out technical studies into the environment, engineering and construction, as well as transport assessments.