September 12, 2014
Burnham area misses out on £2.8m Hinkley transport cash

The government's decision to give millions of pounds of funding to Somerset to help improve transport links ahead of the construction of Hinkley Point C has this week been attacked by local residents after Burnham and Highbridge received nothing.

The Department for Transport announced on Thursday that £2.8m is to be given to four projects in Bridgwater and Taunton, including £1.6m towards road maintenance - but not a penny will come to Burnham or Highbridge despite the strong likelihood that construction traffic will pass through our area on its way to the Hinkley site.

Cllr Neville Jones told "It is very disappointing that the money will be spent on improving transport in the area, but not a bean will come to Burnham or Highbridge even though we will be affected."

"We'd hoped that the Isleport Business Park could become a drop-off point for Hinkley workers or even that a 'park and ride' scheme could be built here. Also, construction traffic will be travelling along the A38 through Highbridge, especially when the M5 is closed during accidents, but none of that has been taken into consideration in granting the money."

Jo Brown from Burnham-based group Parents Concerned About Hinkley, right, told "This transport money is nothing more than a 'bribe' to local authorities to stop them opposing Hinkley C when in fact we don't want more nuclear here. The EDF land should be used for wind energy or a solar park instead - there is no justification for more nuclear here at all."

The transport improvements announced this week will see £800,000 spent on improving Bridgwater railway station and £295,000 on a cycle route linking Hinkley Point to Bridgwater. There will also be £150,000 on better access at Taunton Railway Station plus £1.6m for roads maintenance, especially the road from Cannington to Hinkley Point.

Ben Duckworth, a Department for Transport spokesperson, told "The Department worked closely with Somerset County Council and the Heart of South West Local Enterprise Partnership on this funding. We used local expertise to identify schemes that would have most impact in improving transport links to the Hinkley construction site, which is creating thousands of jobs."

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said in a statement that the cash would help support the area's long term economic growth, generating business and jobs.

Councillor Anne Fraser, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development at Sedgemoor District Council, added: "I am really pleased that all the ‘behind-the-scenes’ work put in by staff and members in submitting this bid has paid off for Sedgemoor."

The proposed £14bn Hinkley C station will be capable of powering five million homes. It is estimated that the project will create between 20,000 and 25,000 jobs during construction and 900 permanent jobs once in operation. Hinkley Point C is set to take between eight and 10 years to become fully operational. Further community funding to off-set the development may be available to the Burnham area in the future.


Bookmark and Share

Search|Add to your Bookmarks|Send a mail from|Print this page|Back to previous page|Discuss this article

Burnham-On-Sea Seafront Webcam
Burnham-On-Sea Webcam
24-hour live pictures
See live images of the seafront and beach with Burnham's Webcam.Click here

Burnham-On-Sea Shops
Burnham-On-Sea Shopping Guide
Buy in Burnham!
Support local traders by shopping in town - see our A-Z index of businesses.Click here

Burnham-On-Sea What's On
What's On In Burnham-On-Sea
Things to see and do
Check the constantly updated calendar for what's happening. Click here

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter See us on YouTube