Building Sizewell C would involve the daily movement of large numbers of construction workers and significant amounts of materials and equipment. In developing and designing our transport proposals, we have sought opportunities to limit the impact of construction of Sizewell C on the local highway network wherever possible. Our proposals include mitigation measures to limit potential effects on local communities and the environment.
The key elements of our strategy are to:
use either a rail-led or road-led approach to moving materials onto and off-site;
build an on-site accommodation campus to reduce the number of workforce journeys;
provide park and ride facilities at key locations on the A12 for workers to travel by bus to the main site;
provide direct bus services from Ipswich and Lowestoft;
provide direct bus services to and from Saxmundham station;
operate working patterns that minimise workers travelling at peak times;
provide local bus services from Leiston; and
provide road improvements where necessary to mitigate the impact of construction traffic.
Movement of materials
In developing our freight management strategies, we have aimed to:
- maximise use of rail infrastructure while avoiding disruption of existing passenger services;
- limit the impact of Sizewell C construction on the local highway network wherever possible; and
- mitigate environmental impacts.
We are now considering three options for the movement of freight - the rail-led and road-led strategies presented at Stage 3, and a new integrated strategy being presented in our Stage 4 consultation.
The rail-led strategy would provide direct access into the main site for five trains a day using a new rail line (known as the green rail route), and a road bypass of Theberton.
The road-led strategy would provide a new Sizewell link road from the A12 to the B1122, and a freight management facility to the east of Ipswich, along with two trains a day (to Sizewell Halt or a new rail siding) throughout construction.
The integrated strategy, combining elements of both the rail-led and road-led strategies would provide direct access into the main site for three trains a day along the green rail route, a new Sizewell link road, and a freight management strategy near Ipswich.
Features common to all three strategies, include:
a bypass (either the Theberton bypass or Sizewell link road) to mitigate the reduce the impact of construction traffic on the B1122 through Theberton;
a beach landing facility;
options for use of Sizewell Halt or construction of a new rail siding or spur and use of existing rail lines;
HGV management activities; and
road improvements, including a bypass of Farnham and Stratford St Andrew (A12 two village bypass) and other highway improvements.
We are considering two options for the location of the freight management facility proposed under the road-led and integrated strategies. We are proposing some changes to both sites at Stage 4.
For details and to learn about options within our proposals for the movement of materials, please read the Stage 4 Consultation Summary Document.
Theberton bypass or Sizewell link road
We are proposing a bypass to reduce the impact of peak construction traffic on the B1122 through Theberton. Under the rail-led strategy, the Theberton bypass would run from a point between Middleton Moor and Theberton, and end on the B1122 east of Theberton. Under the road-led and integrated strategies, the bypass would be known as the Sizewell link road. It would incorporate the route of the Theberton bypass and extend further to also bypass Middleton Moor, joining the A12 south of Yoxford.
At Stage 3 we proposed that the additional B1122 mitigation (either the Theberton bypass or Sizewell link road) would remain in place after construction is completed. At Stage 4, we are seeking your views on whether all or part of it should be a temporary feature pen-square, removed and the land restored once Sizewell C is operational. We are also consulting on some minor changes to the proposed development boundaries of Theberton bypass and Sizewell link road.
Beach landing facility
A permanent beach landing facility (BLF) is needed for handling abnormally large deliveries during the operational phase of the power station. Although not suitable for movements of bulk aggregates, the BLF would also be used throughout the construction phase to remove the need for heavy and oversized loads to be taken on the road network. It would be designed for use by barges, loaded with deliveries elsewhere, towed to the Suffolk Coast, and moored in position before the barge is beached. The abnormally large deliveries would be transported to site along an access road incorporated into the northern mound.
Sizewell Halt or new railing siding or spur
We are proposing to use the existing rail terminal known as Sizewell Halt or a new rail siding or spur for freight deliveries in the early years of construction. Under the road-led strategy, the proposal for two trains a day will continue throughout the construction phase. The proposal for a spur is new at Stage 4 and details of all three options can be found in the Stage 4 Consultation Summary Document.
All three strategies would require track upgrades to the Saxmundham to Leiston branch line. Nine level crossings between the Saxmundham junction and Sizewell Halt would also need to be upgraded. There is no change to the nature of the works proposed at Stage 3, however we are now proposing to include the entirety of the branch line within our development boundary to enable either EDF Energy or Network Rail to do the upgrades. The rail-led strategy would include significant improvements to the East Suffolk line, including upgrades of up to 33 and closure or diversion of 12 level crossings.
All three strategies would also be supported by a number of other activities to manage heavy goods vehicles (HGV) deliveries and movements to and from the main development site, including:
an electronic web-based Delivery Management System (DMS) to allocate HGV delivery slots and ensure compliance with agreed controls and limits. It would also allow rapid electronic communication with suppliers should deliveries need to be delayed or rescheduled due to issues on the highway network.
use of mandatory routes for Sizewell C HGV construction traffic, enforced with the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras; and
temporary holding or controlled release of HGVs from the Sizewell C site.
While our proposals have been designed to limit potential impacts on the local road network, we recognise that the A12 and B1122 are particularly likely to be affected by construction traffic. To limit adverse effects and address potential capacity and safety issues, we are proposing a number of mitigation measures separate to those proposed under the rail-led or road-led strategies.
A12 two village bypass: we recognise that Sizewell C traffic would exacerbate an existing problem on the A12 at the Farnham bend. We are proposing a bypass of Farnham and Stratford St Andrew (a two village bypass) to significantly reduce the traffic passing through the narrow bend at Farnham. The route of the single carriageway road remains unchanged since Stage 3 consultation, however in this Stage 4 consultation we are proposing some minor changes in response to feedback and our further environmental studies which would require amendments to the proposed development boundary. For further details see the Stage 4 Consultation Summary Document.
Yoxford roundabout: the B1122 would experience a significant increase in traffic as a result of Sizewell C. Our proposal to improve the junction of the B1122 with the A12 at Yoxford is a roundabout. It would replace the existing priority junction and is considered to be safer and more efficient than signalising the existing A12/B1122 junction. At Stage 4 we are proposing to locate the roundabout approximately 20m to the south east compared with Stage 3, with a revised development boundary to the south of the site. These changes will enable us to reduce traffic delays due to construction vehicles and avoid encroaching into the adjoining nature reserve.
Junction improvements: we are proposing road improvements - such as changes to signage and road markings, vegetation maintenance, speed limit changes, and other developments - at a number of key junctions to improve safety. At Stage 4 we are proposing minor development boundary changes to a number of the junctions. Further details can be found in the Stage 4 Consultation Summary Document.
A140/B1078 west of Coddenham: changes to signage and road markings as well as vegetation maintenance to improve visibility and safety at the junction;
B1078/B1079 east of Easton and Otley College: changes to signage and road markings as well as vegetation maintenance to improve visibility and safety at the junction;
A12/B1119 at Saxmundham: changes to signage and road markings, and vegetation maintenance to improvevisibility and safety at the junction;
A1094/B1069 south of Knodishall: changes to signage and road markings, and vegetation maintenance to improve visibility and safety at the junction. We would also ask Suffolk County Council to promote a reduction in the speed limit at the junction to 40mph to assist vehicles turning right out of the B1069 to find suitable gaps in the A1094 traffic and safely complete the manoeuvre;
A12/A1094 Friday Street, north of Farnham: our proposed two village bypass of Stratford St Andrew and Farnham (see page 35) includes a roundabout at this junction. We propose to build and open the roundabout before completion of the bypass to improve safety and mitigate the impact of construction traffic in the early years; and
A12/A144 south of Bramfield: adding a central reservation island and waiting area to increase junction capacity.
Movement of people
Reducing the amount of additional traffic generated by the movement of construction workforce remains a key part of our transport plans. In addition to the accommodation campus, our proposals to support the movement of people remain as previously presented and include:
- two temporary park and ride facilities on the A12 to intercept traffic coming from the north and south;
- direct bus services operating from Leiston, Ipswich and Lowestoft; and
- bus pick-up services from Saxmundham station for workers using rail services on the East Suffolk line.
Park and ride
Our proposed locations for the park and ride facilities are Darsham in the north and Wickham Market in the south. When the construction phase is at its peak, the park and ride sites would operate seven days a week, with the movement of buses responding to the shift patterns of workers coming to and from the main development site. When no longer needed, the buildings and associated infrastructure would be removed, and the area returned to agricultural use.
Both the northern and southern park and ride sites would have:
parking for around 1,250 cars (40 of which would be accessible spaces and 10 would be pick-up only spaces), 10 minibuses/buses/vans, 80 motorcycles, and around 20 bicycles;
a secure bus terminus and parking, shelters, a welfare building (comprising toilets, bus drivers’ rest room, security and administration offices), a security building and security booth, with buildings likely to be single storey;
sensitive lighting that will seek to minimise the potential impact of light pollution;
on-site soil storage to support site restoration when the facility is no longer needed.
Additional proposals for the northern park and ride include:
a new roundabout on the A12 situated to the north of the existing Willow Marsh Lane junction, allowing access from the north; and
a 20m minimum buffer and sustainable drainage infrastructure to separate the parking area from Little Nursery woodland and nearby properties.
At Stage 4 we are proposing a slightly larger roundabout than at Stage 3. We are also proposing some changes to the development boundary to more closely align with land ownership boundaries.
Additional proposals for the southern park and ride include:
a postal consolidation facility;
a Traffic Incident Management Area to enable HGVs to be held in the event of an emergency;
reducing two lanes to one on the A12 northeast of Wickham Market before the northbound slip road joins the A12 (to avoid the A12 reducing from three lanes of traffic to one);
requesting that Suffolk County Council reduces the speed limit from 60mph to 30mph on the B1078 that crosses the A12 northeast of Wickham Market;
security fencing at the perimeter of the site;
a layout designed to maximise use of existing screening provided by woodland, and additional hedgerow planting and screening mounds;
external areas including roadways, footways, landscaping, surface water management areas and drainage infrastructure.
At Stage 4 we are proposing changes to the development boundary to include the B1078/B1116 roundabout to allow for pedestrian/cycle improvements within the highways land if necessary, to provide additional space for road marking and signage, and to align more closely with ownership boundaries.
At Stage 3 we proposed two options to mitigate potential delays on the B1078 between Border Cot Lane and the River Deben bridge that may occur as a result of the southern park and ride. We are now also considering an alternative approach of working with the Parish Council to bring forward a public realm improvement scheme within the public highway which would represent the first phase of implementation of the Neighbourhood Plan.