Dear BEIS Energy Infrastructure Planning team
Mr Malcolm F. Rowe of Benhall, Suffolk, has brought to our attention his representations to you in opposing EDF’s plans to run multiple night trains on the East Suffolk Line to Sizewell C.
Melton Parish Council has expressed identical opposition to night trains in our past responses to both EDF and the Planning Inspectorate.
We now wish to make representations to the Secretary of State, emphasising our residents’ opposition to EDF’s night train proposals and summarising Melton Parish Council’s positions on the wider Sizewell C planning application, particularly its all-important freight transport strategy.
The East Suffolk Line between Melton and Saxmundham is single track only. The line requires a capacity upgrade to permit day-time freight movements and provide sufficient resilience to cope with the inevitable breakdowns etc. This was also EDF’s strategy at the Stage 1 and Stage 2 consultations. EDF then, by inaction, reneged on that strategy, much to the frustration of local councils (particularly the principal authorities, as evidenced by their written submissions to the Planning Inspectorate).
EDF now proposes to move much of its heavy freight by multiple night trains on the East Suffolk Line through Melton. Melton Parish Council was so concerned about the adverse impact of this proposal, plus the fact that it had not been communicated effectively by EDF to residents, that we leafletted every household (2,100+) to explain the scale and impact of the Sizewell C night train schedule, inviting responses via an on-line survey.
The responses from Melton residents made clear they do not want to experience the noise and vibration disruptions that would accompany multiple night trains, every night, for years.
Residents also endorsed the view of Melton Parish Council that freight movement by Sea should be the first-choice transport mode; and Rail in daytime-only should be the second-choice transport mode; with Road being the third-choice transport mode.
This representation to the Secretary of State asks for the following mitigations to be applied to EDF’s freight strategy:
- maximise the volume of freight moved by Sea
- for rail freight trains to be run in daytime-only on an upgraded East Suffolk Line with dualled-track between Melton and Saxmundham, without the loss of any regular daytime passenger services
The note attached to this email summarises Melton Parish Council’s positions on the wider Sizewell C planning application.
Thank you for the opportunity to make this representation.
Pip Alder, Clerk to Melton Parish Council
Signed and sent on behalf of Melton Parish Council