MPC(24)23 Sizewell C Transport Forum

Agendas & PapersFull Council Uploaded on February 26, 2024


 Sizewell C Southern Transport Forum 12/2/24

Those present included:

  • Independent Chair Brian Steward – to produce minutes (should be distributed this week)
  • Cllr Alexander Nicoll
  • Steve Merry SCC Highway Manager
  • 2 ESC reps Cllr Paul Ashton and Carolyn Barnes Transport Lead, Energy Projects
  • Sergeant Rebecca O’Neill – Police Community Safety Unit
  • 14 reps from local Town and Parish councils
  • Including Cllr Robin Sander from WTC
  • Various Sizewell C Co (SZC Co) managers and consultants inc Zoe Botten Community Relations Manager

Next Forum dates:

15 May 6.30 pm (clashes with Full Council – Cllr Robin Sander from WTC to cover for Melton)

14 Aug 6.30

13 Nov 6.30

The aim of the group is to identify and address local transport impacts of the Sizewell C construction. SZC Co stated that they wanted to be good neighbours.

Much was made about the Sizewell C Deed of Obligation which we were encouraged to read and digest (it’s online via ESC). It includes an annex with several technical documents, including a Travel Plan, a Traffic Management report, a Traffic Incident Plan, a transport modelling report (Consolidated Transport Assessment) and a construction management plan.

Sizewell C Development Consent Order (DCO) was triggered on 15th January 2024. This makes available £250m of mitigation measures for the construction works. This includes a £2m community fund plus a £1.6m index linked fund to cover the cost of responding to new issues/ unforeseen circumstances.

A Transport Review Group has been set up chaired by Steve Merry (SCC). It will include representatives from National Highways, ESC, Police, consultants and 4 EDF representatives.

All HGVs over 3.5 tonnes and buses will be tracked and directed to agreed routes. HGVs will first call in at the purpose-built Freight Management Centre (lorry park with a 150 capacity) adjacent to the A12/A14 junction and called to proceed up the A12 at the appropriate time.

Goods vehicles below 3.5 tonnes will not be tracked but instructed to use the designated routes. Several of the Councils at the meeting were unhappy about this as they had been given assurances in the past by EDF that these light vans would be tracked.  Additional concern was expressed that wider network monitoring was not being undertaken to assist checking on potential traffic increase for local communities.

The Woodbridge Councillor mentioned the traffic problems in Woodbridge and Melton caused by the recent gas works on the A12. He was concerned about incidents on the trunk road causing problems again in the town with all the extra Sizewell construction traffic. He asked what special plans were to be put in place to deal with this.  SCC said there were no special plans and they aim to manage the situation in the normal way. I asked if they were going to get more Highway Regulation staff for this work funded by Sizewell. SCC replied they might get an extra officer but that it was difficult recruiting experienced staff.

Workers in their own cars will not be allowed on the construction site and will not be monitored. They will be directed to large park and ride sites north and south of Sizewell. The southern one will be at Wickham Market with 1250 spaces.  This will also host a postal consolidation facility to reduce deliveries to the construction site. Workers living to the east of Sizewell will be expected to travel by bus.

Enabling works for the Freight Centre and Park & Ride will start this summer.

The villages of Farnham and Stratford St Andrew will be bypassed by a 2.4km road, with new roundabout junctions on the A12. Works to start summer 2024, mainly archaeological and ecological surveys.

Wickham Market, Marlesford and Little Glemham will be getting various traffic management and public realm improvements. To be procured in 2024 for construction the year after.

I spoke with the SZC Co Site Operations Director about sub-contractors based at Bentwaters accessing the construction site.  He said he was not aware of any Sizewell sub-contractors there and to let him know if there were. If there were, their HGVs would have to use the designated routes and be tracked.

I sent a list of 12 questions generated by our Councillors and Clerk to get answered at the Forum.  I did not realise we would only be able to ask two.  So, I combined several questions to ask about rail noise and the Wilford Bridge Rd level crossing.  Subsequently I was sent a response by email to all 12 as indicated below:

1) What are you currently proposing as the Noise Mitigation Scheme (NMS)?
“Please find the Noise Mitigation Scheme submitted to the planning inspectorate here:

Each property eligible for the scheme will be invited to be individually surveyed to identify the best mitigation measures, which includes secondary glazing and/or ventilation.”

2) Will you be putting Dow noise dampers under the rails nearest the houses to reduce track noise?
“Network Rail are upgrading the line in areas, including Continuously Welded Rail and under ballast mats. We have already received positive feedback from residents in the area on the improvement to rail noise from these works.
Details can be viewed in the draft noise mitigation scheme:
Final details are currently being reviewed in the design phase of the project and more information will be shared at the Transport Forum as it becomes available. “

Councillors asked that Network Rail be invited to the next Forum to explain their plans related to Sizewell.

3) How are you contacting properties and how do you know if someone qualifies?
“The refreshed noise assessments are currently taking place and will be reviewed and approved by East Suffolk Council. Eligible property owners will be notified via an information pack which includes full details and asks them to confirm if they would like to take part in the scheme. When the packs are prepared for distribution in your area, we will advise the council.
We also provide regular updates in our community newsletter – encouraging any property owners with concerns or questions to contact us to find out more.”

4) Why are you only looking at residential properties and not businesses, such as the glamping site adjacent to the rail line where people will be sleeping? In Melton – Spring Barn Farm –
“We have liaised with the glamping site mentioned above previously and addressed any concerns they have raised with us directly. If they would like to raise any further questions or concerns, they are welcome to contact the team.
Businesses fall under different planning regulations to residential properties and as the trains that give rise to the Noise Mitigation Scheme are running at night time, this discretionary scheme has been introduced to mitigate as far as possible for those residents affected. Businesses are able to consider submitting a Part 1 claim if they feel they have been adversely affected.”

5) When are the trains starting? (Date and times)

“This is not confirmed yet and more information will be shared in the future Transport Forums. It is anticipated this will be in 2025.”

6) What will be the frequency of the trains?
“This is not confirmed yet and more information will be shared in the future Transport Forums”

7) Will they be sounding their horns as they approach the level crossings in Melton and Woodbridge?
“This is a question for Network Rail.”

8) How long will the level crossing barriers be down for each train? – the noise from the alarms is potentially more of an issue than that from the trains themselves.
“SZC Co. will work with Network Rail and ESC with the objective of exploring the means of controlling level crossing alarms to a level that is agreed by all parties to be acceptable. Where such discussions result in agreed mechanism for controlling level crossing alarms, they must be included in the final Rail Noise Mitigation Plan submitted to ESC for approval.”

9) Do they envisage any issues with traffic at the Wilford Bridge Road/Melton railway station crossing?
“No – Several trial trains have been run to ensure that any potential risks or issues have been considered and mitigated.”

10) Can you provide an update on the A12 village bypasses?
“A Two-Village Bypass will be implemented to bypass Farnham and Stratford St Andrew. Future timescales etc will be shared at future forum meetings. Detailed plans of the Bypass can be viewed here: • The Bypass is 2.4km in length • The Bypass includes a new 4 arm roundabout at Parkgate Fm and new 4 arm roundabout at Friday Street • Enabling Works are due to commence Summer 2024.”

11) Can you provide an update on the Whickham Market P&R facility? The current plans I believe are for 1250 cars and 80 motorcycles plus vans, buses etc.
“• Yes, the Wickham Market Park & Ride will have 1250 car parking spaces • The Postal Consolidation Centre • Traffic Incident Management Area • Enabling Works commencing Summer 2024”

12) What estimates do you have of how much extra traffic there will be during and after the P&R construction and how much will be at night when the roads are quieter? The vast majority of those vehicles will be using the A12 as far as the P&R resulting in yet more increase in traffic as it passes the A1152 Woods Lane in Melton. There will also be significant amounts of the P&R construction traffic.
“The Consolidated Transport Assessment can be viewed here: “

(For the Suffolk Local Transport Plan refresh SCC has countywide baseline traffic data. However, it does not cover all local roads that may be used in the Sizewell area).


Cllr John Bann