SZC NIGHT TRAINS SURVEY – OUTCOMES, FINAL RESPONSES & RESIDENTS’ COMMENTS
OUTCOMES FROM THE SURVEY
In May 2021, such was Melton Parish Council’s (MPC) concern about SZC’s night train proposal to run up eight overnight freight trains through Melton, at average intervals of 49 minutes, that our volunteers leafleted all 2,100 households in the parish to inform residents of what was being planned and invite them to complete an on-line survey where they could have their say.
We received 247 responses to the survey; equivalent to 12% of households and a good rate of return for such a consultation exercise. Many thanks to all those who responded to the survey and, of course, to our volunteers.
A strong message coming back from residents was that as much construction material as possible should be moved by sea. On the specific survey question of the movement of freight by train:
- nearly two-thirds of respondents were opposed to overnight trains;
- there was majority support for freight to be moved by train in daytime on an East Suffolk Line with upgraded capacity (dual-tracked between Melton and Saxmundham).
If SZC were to receive planning permission on the basis of its current proposals, there would be a stark difference between Melton’s preferred modes of transport and the modes to be used by EDF:
- Melton’s two top preferences for the movement of construction material are by Sea and by Day Trains. At the moment, EDF plans to move only 10 to 30% of freight volumes by these combined modes
- The two modes of transport that Melton supports least – Night Trains and Road – would, under current plans, be used by EDF to move between 70 to 90% of freight volumes.
A SZC transport strategy that majored on Night Trains and Road would be an outcome unacceptable to most Melton residents and also, we suspect, to residents of other nearby communities.
MPC has included the above findings within the written evidence we have submitted to the Planning Inspectors for the SZC project.
OVERALL SURVEY RESPONSE
247 responses (about 12% of households, which is a good response rate for this type of exercise)
Votes For or Against Overnight Trains
63% against overnight trains (155)
37% for overnight trains (91)
Votes For or Against Day Time Trains
64.5% (100) supported daytime running on an enhanced East Suffolk Line and 35.5% (55) supported moving traffic to roads or sea.
93 RESIDENTS’ COMMENTS WITHIN THE SURVEY
It should be moved by sea
It is lunacy to deliver millions of tons of material by rail when it could come by sea.
The railway line runs very close to residential housing in Melton and Woodbridge, all extra construction material should be moved by sea.
We think the freight should come by sea and not road
I feel there should be no extra freight trains on the East Suffolk line because of the associated vibration and noise. Construction materials should be moved by sea.
send by sea
I would not like more materials etc to be moved by road, therefore the sea option would be my choice.
To further qualify my choice (B) – such material should really be transported by sea and offloaded at a Sizewell Temp Jetty
impossible to sleep with so many trains, Movement by sea the ovbious answer
In addition to the disturbance to the people living close to the railway line the flight movement would impact on the price of properties near the railways line. Sea transport is the obvious solution.
Option B needs to be split – my preference would be for fright to be moved by sea, not road. Our roads are already at capacity. Night trains will be noisy and disrupt the wildlife.
Sea is preferable to land, and rail preferable to road. There is likely to be a mix of all three. Container movements by rail are longer than 20 wagons can the same volume be transferred on fewer and longer trains – what is the limiting factor.
The noise and vibrations from the trains would affect sleep for adults who have to work as well as school children that need their sleep. Transporting construction materials by sea would seem a logical solution as increasing capacity during the day would make it much harder for the numerous business and others that cross the rails during the day.
Whenever the trains run they will affect the passenger services. Even now freight trains always delay passenger trains. Majority of construction material should go by sea so no disruption.
As the construction site is easily accessible by sea, sea transport should be the primary route for construction materials brought from existing port facilities with existing freight rail and road connections.
I’ve answered A above although it would be better if rail wasn’t used at all. However, rail is much better than road with its attendant problems, but the best solution would seem to be by sea.
The majority of the construction materials should be moved by sea. Residents of Melton and Woodbridge living near the train track should not be subject to noise from trains throughout the night. Likewise the residents in the villages should not have to put up with heavy traffic at all times of the day. With the power station taking eleven years to build this level of disruption is unacceptable.
I want daytime Rail and Sea. No road.
Could they not do a test run of what it would be like? I am against disrupting people’s sleep. I am also against sizewell c. Try to manage the loads during daylight hours.
Sleep will be impacted but rail has to be preferable to road if this monstrosity has to go ahead.
The few trains that do come through during the night, rumble along making a really heavy noise, sounds a lot louder during the early hours of the morning, they wake me up every time, this schedule will mean I get NO sleep at all – not funny and definitely not on!!
At night trains running through Melton can be heard quite clearly and would probably disturb sleepers.
Both options will cause massive impact on the local community
Both will have a massive impact on local communities and the environment
Without doubt as we live in Station Road our sleep will be badly disturbed by the proposed night time freight.
Impact on sleep especially if barriers sound warning signals in the night
- The proposed 6th night affected by noise is a complete non starter.
2) Are the trains going north as well?
3) Use two locomotives to allow longer trains and thus less journeys, split the train at Ipswich.
4) All affected properties should be protected by noise abatement walls.
- I am too near to the railway line,so would hear trains at night and sleep would be disrupted!
We are very concerned about the impact on our quality of life with interrupted sleep for a long period of time. We are very concerned about the impact on the value and sale-ability of our home. We are also concerned about the environmental impact in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and feel increased transport by sea but not by road would be preferable. We understand that when a new motorway is built homeowners can receive property enhancements ie improved double glazing to mitigate noise.
We can hear the trains from our house, as the railway line runs a few hundred yards from our back garden.
This proposed night schedule would only benefit EDF night shift workers. No thought given for East Suffolk coastal residents residing along the train route therefore disruption to other communities also eg Saxmundham. There is no mention how long this night train schedule would go on for – years most likely.The East Suffolk line is squirt mostly one track rural railway line not suitable for running heavy goods traffic throughout the night.A cry of despair. Can’t see any residents agreeing.
Please we must preserve the peace and quiet in Suffolk
Our house is part of a large estate that backs onto the railway line – with the propsoed times we would be disturbed every hour, so no decent sleep at all. We hear the night nuclear train now that takes ages to pass. What will it be like in the summer when one might actual like a window open for air? It will affect our physical and mental health. How are we expected to work regular jobs, or study for qualifications with no sleep? It will certainly cause a massive devaliuation in property.
They would pass by not more than 30 yards from our home with the frequency of the proposed times will give the effect of a constantly moving train all night long which will in effect ,affect sleep especially more so if you have a new borne baby …
We live close to the line, it would have a severely detrimental impact on our nightly sleep. This is grossly unfair.
We live within the vicinity of the railway and will be badly effected by the noise and vibration of these trains passing the front of our house every 49 minutes. I question whether I will be able to use the two front bedrooms which face onto the railway as a result. Unless they are sound sleepers, which many of us are not, those using those bedrooms will be constantly disturbed.
I am not totally opposed to running freight trains at night – the ESL is open 24 hours a day and some freight trains do currently run a night. But the solution to the issue is to increase the capacity of the ESL with more infrastructure, improved signalling and higher line speeds. This investment is essential.
Concerned regarding sleep disturbance from freight trains as live at the Debenside Melton,
The property in Riverview will be greatly devalued before & during rail movements.noise echoes more at nighttime especially along the river affecting Riverview and we will hear trains coming along before they get to Melton and will be heard until they pass Woodbridge and they will take longer than the minute and a quarter that you state.will EDF pay for us in Riverview to have triple glazing?will they pay for any foundation damage?will the help with cost of selling or lack of selling properties?
I am strongly against the transport being by road.
Lack of sleep can cause various medical conditions which include Mental health. A precedent has been set by Leiston by not having the disturbance of night freight. Sizewell seem to be doing their best to ruin this part of Suffolk as a place to visit for many years.onh
We live on Riverview we are both light sleepers and all that extra nightime noise will makse sleeping virtually impossible.
Sleep patterns, I live near to the station
The proposal would mean disturbed sleep all night for Melton residents near the line as the interval between trains is only 49 minutes
the latest Community Newsletter (May 2021) contains a pledge to “minimise disruption to local communities”. Sleep deprivation caused by the proposal would be a big disruption to people’s health and welfare. If the gov’t is prepared to spend billions of our money on this project then surely funding can be found to ensure that communities can sleep in peace.
The train tracks back on to our house and freight trains are very loud, this would cause sleep disruption for me and my young children.
I live beside the railway, and am already woken by the occasional night trains, i do not want to be woken almost hourly. I feel this is totally unecessary as there are only 2 trains per hour on the line during the day. If Leiston can not have night trains, why cant Melton
They will a) disturb my peace and sleep; b) blight the value of my property because no potential buyer would like to be afflicted by this regular long-going noise
The trains would be very disruptive as they are far too long and far too frequent. I live about 50 yards from the railway line.
The timings published by EDF for overnight trains through Melton
Additional noise during the night if trains have to sound horns as they approach crossing which would be more noticeable during the summer months when windows are open
This small rural line cannot be used for such heavy use. The noise of hourly freight train thoughout the night would be unbearable severly affecting the hpuses and communoties closeby
Disrupted sleep would be extremely detrimental to my mental health and wellbeing.
If a is not possible then I would accept night trains rather than road
Will greatly affect sleeping .
My flat looks directly onto the railway line. Freight trains have passed in the night before and the noise always woke me up. Night freight trains would not be sleep disturbance, they would be sleep deprivation. The use of freight trains in the night must not be allowed in the planning planning process for Sizewell C.
I don’t agree with either of the above options but the first is preferable. Suffolk roads would NEVER cope with such an increase of HGVs 24/7Rut the first is preferable
Neither of these options work
We think there is a very real chance of sleep disturbance, bedrooms of our house directly face railway line and the sound projects into the bedrooms really clearly during the day and will be even more noticeable at night with less other noise around.
I resent the EDF process of pseudo consultation as if the decision to go ahead has already been made. I dont want to elect for any transportation option for a project that i am opposed to in principle
These trains are loud and this is going to aversely effect sleep. My understanding is that i have a human right to sleep and this noise would deny me that right.
Multiple night train movements will, as the drivers are obligated to sound horns, and all the crossings have alarm bells as well as flashing lights, cause a lot of noise nuisance
I do not mind some freight trains coming through at night but not one and hour. they are noisy, rumbling with vibration too. Will they be using their horns or sirens? the line should be widened but again this will have an impact. Sizewell C should not go ahead due to the utter destruction it will incur on nature, the character of suffolk and tourism / socio economics of the region.
Having lived in Melton Road while the waste from Sizewell was removed by train at night and experiencing the house shaking I now live even nearer to the railway line and would be able to hear all the proposed night traffic and possibly feel it too! I would propose that it could all be done by sea and something similar to the mulberry docks built during the war could be used at Sizewell.
It does not effect me personally, but I wholeheartedly sympathise with those that live close to the train line.
Structural damage due to vibration to buildings just feet from railway line e.g. NewQuay Court not designed for such traffic. Also impact on property value..from
I don’t think they will affect me, but this is a community, and I find it unacceptable that anyone should have to tolerate sleep disturbance.
Our bedrooms are on the back of the house and trains can be heard even with the double glazed windows closed. Night trains would prevent the whole family from getting a good night’s sleep and risk all the negative health impacts that poor sleep causes.
It is obvious that the noise and weight of heavy goods trains on the East Suffolk line would have a severely adverse effect on the lives of those living in Melton and Woodbridge
I’m concerned as too how much my sleep will be disturbed. 5 years of disturbed sleep is not good for anyone’s health. Also living very close to the line, I’m concerned as what the vibrations off the trains over a long period of time, will do t the structure of the house.
Many people living by the railway are elderly and the proposed disturbance of overnight freight trains would be absolutely intolerable/injurious to health. Surely the coastal location highlights the method of transportation that should be adopted. There is also the possibility of damage to residences as these were probably not constructed to take the vibration levels proposed. The lengthy period of construction will have an adverse impact on house prices.
1.Some properties here are only 40-50 ft from railway so sleep disturbance inevitable.
2. Current night trains though slow moving make noise, stop and start jerkily, truck couplings clanging. 3.Several tall buildings here, sound ricochets, magnifies. Crossing upgrades included 2-tone warning til trains have passed; railworkers have said will occur with night trains too. I’d prefer freight movement by sea, split between the 3 options, or possibly 1 or 2 nights of trains per week.
apart from the sleep disturbance this will devalue the properties close to the line. EDF are quoting a5yr. perriodgalue all properties ajacent to the linealue properties adjacent to the line. EDF are quoting a5year periout
Night trains would affect those sleeping in our household for an extended period of time. At present if we go to bed early in the summer when windows are often left open, we are woken by the kast passenger train, therefore trains running through the night would be a problem.
there needs to be investment in the ;one so that train movements can be managed effectively. Current capacity suggests that the plans for rail movement (to reduce HGV traffic) may be problematic even at night unless capacity is improved. Also why is Leiston guaranteed no train movements at night and Woodbridge and Melton are not. Obviously EDG anticipates night movements will cause disturbance.
The options should either A B OR C, because the option of road or sea is actually TWO options not one road or sea
Now that the crossing gates have been replaced by alarmed barriers at the “boatyard” crossing in Melton, which is only about 30 yards from our flat in New Quay Court, the continuous noise of that sounding every 49 minutes throughout each night for 8 years will be unbearable . The alarms will be very loud during the day now the gates have been changed, as it is we have always been able to hear the Whisstocks crossing alarms. The heavy trains through the night will be intolerable for us all.
a more sensitive night time table could be used, for example displacing one or evening service, and adding services up to 1.16, perhaps adding one more at5:19 but none between
Issue is not trains themselves but audible signal that goes with new level crossing traffic lights and potential for trains sounding horns.
New crossing signals have been installed Dock Lane. Will the audible warnings be triggered during the night & also will the overnight trains continue to use klaxons as they do during the day?
Where will all these materials originate? If they enter the country by sea, then onto trains surely the ships should unload off Sizewell. If transported by train then EDF should pay for all upgrades of the rail-line.
Due to the overlaid marsh land and high water table, vibration and noise nuisance will cause loss of amenity to ourselves and will damage our property adjacent to the railway line.
I am luckily away from the disruption this will cause I am concerned for people living in the area. I am apposed to the building of Sizewell C.
If noght time has to be the only option, then no hooting at every level crossing in built-up areas.
I have a severe disability and any disturbance to my sleep has a huge negative consequence on my health, to the point I am unable to function or leave my home if my sleep is very disturbed. To this end please consider running the trains during the daytime and keeping any associated noise to the minimum possible for the well-being of all in the neighbourhood.
I thought they were proposing passing tracks to enable passenger and freight to coexist during the day
I am against nuclear power. If it was not an option I feel sure that some other way to produce electricity would be found.
I do not want Sizewell C built it will destroy Minsmere
I do not agree with Sizewell c being built and do not agree with either of the options.
Better not to allow the project. Stop now.
I am against Sizewell C being built. I think it will be superseded by other forms of energy.
I do not agree with the construction of sizewell C at all.Its totally unsustainable and against all the government promises to tackle climate change. Solar,wind and wave should be th way forward not nuclear power. Where will the waste go?? How many acres of green land are going to be destroyed. This is unacceptable in today’s climate crisis.
RESIDENTS’ COMMENTS BY EMAIL AND LETTER
[This refers to Barrier Crossing Noise] – “The noise does carry from Melton Station all the way to our cottage most days, so you can see the distance the sound can carry and the potential for disturbed sleep. It’s like a car alarm going off and sounds like a police car! Nee nah nee nah! Very unpleasant but necessary for safety reasons.”
“Further to my recent email, we have just learnt from the railway workers that a 2-tone warning is to be sounded at our level crossing for the full length of the time the train is passing through (1 1/4 mins) for each of the 10 trains passing through all night. This is clearly intolerable. What is the point of mitigating noise if this is allowed? Please plead for this freight to be transported by sea.”
“As a resident at New Quay Court I am very concerned about this proposal for the reasons you have already flagged up (sleep disturbance, loss of quality of life) but also this track and the building (only feet from the rail line) were never designed to sustain the proposed level of freight vibration. The structural damage and negative impact on the environment over the years would seriously affect the property value. The surplus construction material MUST be sent by SEA.”
“With regards to the overnight train proposal that Sizewell C will need to transport their construction material, I really must object strongly against it. I live in New Quay Court which is next to the line and only about 30 yards from the alarmed barriers which have just been installed. The thought and the reality of heavy trains passing every 49 minutes during the night is completely intolerable, not only for the rumbling of the trains but the 2 toned alarm that will be continuous for 1 1/4 minutes will stop any hope of a good night’s sleep. We purchased the flat 15 years ago because we liked the peace and quiet of the area, the East Coast line trains have never disturbed us at all when there was a gate crossing at the Melton boatyard although now of course the alarms are very loud but I understand from a H & S position that this is important, especially for the visually impaired, however nobody goes to the boatyard at night so the alarms will only hinder sleep not help anyone over the line. Please can the construction material be transported by sea? It wouldn’t affect anyone or any of the other residential areas that the line passes through.”
“to be honest this whole thing fills me with deep depression. The area simply isn’t equipped for the level of traffic on the roads or rail. Even since we arrived 4 years ago, we have noticed a huge increase on the road. Melton crossroads is rarely empty and usually has a long queue in at least one direction. X has sent you the professional comments, mine can only be from my gut! I am already woken by the line cleaning train in the night, and whilst I actually love our little local train, and miss it when it isn’t running, that is because it is only twice an hour. I think I would feel very differently with the increase, though would prefer more in the day if it means less at night. I completely agree that sea is the way to go, but know that from the start they have said thos would not happen. I despair of the extra footfall and traffic in the area during the building, and obviously feel this is completely the wrong place to build it, as I love that beach. We were there the other day, and I will whatsapp you a photo of a house along the cliff from there…their picnic area literally now hanging over the beach. Sorry, not very helpful. Just don’t want it!!!”
“The Class 66 is an American industrial design from the 90s and first came to the UK in 2000. Freight companies also use class 37 built from 1960 as English Electric Type 3’s and Class 47s which date back to 1963. As the Class 37s would work in pairs they are extremely noisy as is currently apparent with the leaf clearance trains at night. Restrictions should therefore apply to which locomotives may be used on the Sizewell freight contract. I would suggest none noisier than a Class 66 should be allowed and the class 66’s should be fitted with sound attenuation equipment if practicable.”
“Commenting on the effects of more trains pre-supposes that I approve of the new build Sizewell C – which I firmly do not”
“I didn’t get to take the survey! It seems to not be available anymore. I would still like to voice my views, as this will be a huge disadvantage to me, even result in having to move away from my flat at New Quay Court, Old Maltings Approach. Is there still chance to take to survey or register my concern. I am woken currently if a freight train goes by at night, so I would never be able to get a full night sleep if this went ahead. Please advise.”
“Letter to The Editor Copy to: Melton Parish Council
East Anglian Daily Times. Woodbridge Town Council
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org East Suffolk District Council
25th May 2021 Suffolk County Council
The Rt Hon Therese Coffee MP
Proposed Sizewell C Rail Access
We now know the minimum pattern of rail movements proposed by EDF during the five-year construction period for Sizewell C. There will be eight trains a night passing Melton at roughly 40-minute intervals between 11pm and 6 am. These will run five nights every week; EDF are exploring the option of two additional movements and six night working.
The sleep disturbance that will be experienced by residents of the towns and villages along the route will be horrendous and particularly affect the very young, the elderly and those with physical and mental illnesses. It will lead to a marked deterioration in the physical and mental welfare of us all.
The solution is simple and obvious. The East Suffolk Line between Woodbridge and Saxmundham must be restored to double track. Supply trains could then be run during daylight hours with no disruption to the passenger service.
The East Suffolk line was built originally as a double track railway, and at it’s peak had up to 25 trains a day in each direction, including the famous ‘Easterling’ running in summer months non-stop between London and Beccles. Following the Beeching Review (carried out by and Industrial Chemist under a Minister of Transport whose fortune was made from road building) it was proposed in 1965 to close the entire line. However, this plan was thwarted by local pressure. However, the line was condemned to be singled, although this was only carried out on the busiest section between Woodbridge and Saxmundham. The result was a slow, restricted and inefficient service.
Doubling the line would not only solve the Sizewell C goods problem but also provides the residents of East Suffolk with a permanent, faster and more efficient railway. We urge all local representatives of all political persuasions to unite to make this a single issue, a red line which must not be passed.