area misses out on £2.8m Hinkley transport cash
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.
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.
Neville Jones told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "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."
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."
Brown from Burnham-based group Parents Concerned About Hinkley,
right, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "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."
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.
Duckworth, a Department for Transport spokesperson, told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"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."
Minister Baroness Kramer said in a statement that the cash would
help support the area's long term economic growth, generating
business and jobs.
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."
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.