Tagged: A12

Major review of lorries in small Suffolk villages to be discussed

A truck gets stuck in Woolpit in 2016. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

A truck gets stuck in Woolpit in 2016. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

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Highways chiefs in Suffolk are on the verge of starting a major review of the county’s lorry routes, amid growing concerns over truck movements in small villages.

Suffolk Highways said the issue of lorries in roads they shouldn't be had escalated. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSuffolk Highways said the issue of lorries in roads they shouldn’t be had escalated. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A board of senior highways officers and cabinet member Mary Evans will meet next month where the issue is set to be discussed, after requests for the issue to be more tightly managed.

While no formal timeline has been set out for the review, the board’s November meeting will discuss the problem and what steps need to take place.

It is understood that could include a working group, detailed research or other methods, and could discuss measures such as tougher sanctions on trucks using inappropriate routes and fresh conversations with haulage firms to educate drivers on the importance of using specified routes.

Conservative cabinet member Mary Evans said: “Suffolk County Council is responsible for the Suffolk Lorry Route plan.

Mary Evans confirmed the issue was on the agenda with her highways board next month. Picture: GREGG BROWNMary Evans confirmed the issue was on the agenda with her highways board next month. Picture: GREGG BROWN

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“While we do not have confirmed timescales for carrying out a review of lorry routes at this time, as it is a significant piece of work, we understand how much of an issue disruption caused by HGVs has become in some areas of Suffolk.

“I can confirm that the Lorry Management Plan will be on the agenda at the next Highways Improvements and Innovation Board in November, where officers will discuss how this could be taken forward.”

According to highways insiders, the issue has become more prevalent with increased numbers of HGVs on the roads and the inability to ensure truck drivers follow diversion signs when there are roadworks, as many attempt to use local knowledge or their own routes.

Among the issues lorries in small villages cause are noise complaints, snared roads and even damage to buildings in some cases.

In June, it emerged that Suffolk’s bid for funding to bypass four villages in East Suffolk had been rejected by the Department for Transport.

The route, which planned to bypass the A12 around the villages of Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham, aimed to help those communities which suffered from heavy traffic on the A12, and aid the villages as greater traffic was anticipated from the Sizewell C project.

READER LETTER: 'If Sizewell C goes ahead, what future for Leiston?'

EDF Energy wants to build Sizewell C on the Suffolk coast Picture: EDF

EDF Energy wants to build Sizewell C on the Suffolk coast Picture: EDF

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Laurie Wiseman from Aldeburgh writes of his concerns about the impact Sizewell C will have on the surrounding area.

Sir, – I am deeply concerned about the dramatic impact that the construction of the projects Sizewell C and D, Scottish Power Renewables Substations and cable routing and the National Grid ventures will have on Leiston and the surrounding communities. The construction of these projects will take place over a period of 10 years. This will mean hundreds of heavy duty HGV’s travelling on the A12 then onto country roads to Sizewell and Friston. The A12 is a dual carriageway road some of the way but much of the way to Yoxford it is a single way road. From Yoxford the road is designed for light traffic and will be used every day by hundreds of heavy duty HGV’s passing by residences and villages along the way. The traffic generated by these projects (to be run concurrently) is to occur within a small area encompassing Yoxford, Sizewell, Friston and Thorpness as well as the A12. It will have a devastating effect on the residents in this small area.

There is to be an accommodation block for a workforce of 2,400 in Leiston, a town of 5,500 souls, but this figure will increase to 5,600 at peak times. This will double the population of Leiston to 11,100. These extra 3,200 workers will have find accommodation locally in B&B’s, hotels and holiday lets. This will swamp Leiston and surrounding villages. Local residents will have to put up with the pressures and troubles that will eventually occur. It will be a war zone.

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Over recent years East Suffolk Council has attracted tourists to this area to enjoy its many offerings of hotels, holiday lets, B&B’s, restaurants along with the internationally known concert venue, the RSPB bird reserve at Minsmere, the many areas of natural beauty, the coast and the peaceful countryside. These construction projects, particularly Sizewell C&D, will have a devastating effect on the Minsmere bird reserve. It will change the peaceful nature of the countryside and will have a major impact on this tourist industry.

I have written to the Government asking it to think again about the construction of Sizewell C&D bearing in mind the doubts about its feasibility and its dramatic effects on the local area and community. Sizewell C&D is a costly and old technology, its design is questionable as has been demonstrated at Olkiluoto 3 in Finland and Flamanville in France. If the planning application for Sizewell C&D is agreed in March next year it will condemn Leiston to a baleful future.

Laurie Wiseman,

Aldeburgh.