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 add;
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
We are proposing two alternative strategies - rail-led or road-led - for the movement of materials. We plan to use excavated materials on-site as fill or for landscaping, and a borrow pit to source and deposit material.
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 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.
Features common to both strategies, include:
- Additional B1122 mitigation;
- A beach landing facility;
- Options for use of Sizewell Halt or construction of a new rail siding;
- Use of existing rail lines;
- A bypass of Farnham and Stratford St Andrew (a two-village bypass);
- Park and ride sites at Darsham and Wickham Market;
- Highway improvements; and
- HGV management activities.
For details and to learn about options within our proposals for the movement of materials, please read the Stage 3 Consultation Summary Document.
Additional B1122 mitigation: 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 strategy, 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.
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 rail siding: at Stage 2 we proposed use of the existing terminal known as Sizewell Halt and this option remains, but construction of a new rail siding on the same Saxmundham - Leiston branch line is now proposed as an alternative.
Rail proposals: both the rail and road led strategies would require use of existing rail lines to deliver materials in the early years of construction. For the road-led strategy, such use would continue throughout the construction period.
Upgrades would be required to nine level crossings on the Saxmundham - Leiston branch line (between the Saxmundham junction and Sizewell Halt) under both the rail-led and road-led strategies. 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. Some improvements to this line may also be required for the road-led strategy, subject to further assessment with Network Rail.
Other proposals: other proposals consistent with both rail-led and road-led strategies include the A12 two-village bypass of Farnham and Stratford St Andrew, park and ride sites at Darsham and Wickham Market, and other highway improvements.
Both 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.
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 at Stage 2 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 (in response to feedback from Stage 2 and further technical work), Ipswich and Lowestoft; and
- bus pick-up services from Saxmundham station for workers using rail services on the East Suffolk line.
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. Our traffic modelling now shows a need for more car parking spaces at each site than were previously proposed, however the size of the sites remains the same.
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.
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.
There are also two options proposed 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.
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 and are proposing mitigation to significantly reduce the traffic passing through the narrow bend. Following feedback at Stage 2 consultation, discussions with Suffolk County Council, and further technical work, our proposal is a bypass of Farnham and Stratford St Andrew (a two-village bypass), with key design changes aimed at reducing environmental impacts.
A12/B1122 junction: the B1122 would experience a significant increase in traffic as a result of Sizewell C. Following feedback at Stage 2 consultation and further technical work, 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.
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.
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.