Fresh fears have been raised this week regarding ‘years of disruption’ in Highbridge from large numbers of construction vehicles travelling through Highbridge on their way to the proposed Hinkley Point C power station.
EDF Energy announced on Thursday (August 2nd) that it is investing £3 million on a new scheme in Bridgwater to cut congestion caused by deliveries to the new Hinkley Point C power station – but the scheme will not address concerns about increased traffic using the A38 through Highbridge, pictured.
Town councillor Chris Williams told Burnham-On-Sea.com on Thursday: “EDF’s traffic controls are being put in place from Dunball southwards. Many people here in Highbridge are very worried about the lack of guarantees from EDF regarding construction lorries thundering through Highbridge on the A38 for several years while the new power station is built.”
“EDF has directed money towards modelling traffic flows in and around Bridgwater but no studies have been carried out on the impact to Highbridge.”
“These large vehicles will cause a lot of disruption to the town and its residents at busy times, especially when the motorway is closed during accidents.”
The new scheme announced this week by EDF in Bridgwater will see number plate recognition cameras being introduced between the M5 and Hinkley Point to ensure lorries only use designated routes and delivery times – a scheme that town councillors in Highbridge feel should be extended to Burnham and Highbridge.
An EDF spokesman told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Fears of large numbers of Hinkley PointC construction vehicles travelling through Highbridge are unfounded. Only designated, dedicated freight routes, which have been agreed with the local highway authority, will be used. HGV movements to site will be strictly controlled. We will of course be pleased to further discuss ourtraffic management plans with local councillors to continue our constructive engagement with the local community.”
Hinikley Point Construction director Nigel Cann added that the new system in Bridgwater will “reduce the impact of HGVs on local roads.”
“We recognise the concerns many people have about Hinkley Point C traffic during construction. Our whole transport strategy is therefore based on reducing the impact as much as possible by sea, investing in road improvements and carrying workers to and from site by bus.”
Cllr Williams said he and other town councillors are set to pursue the matter further with EDF during a meeting about Hinkley Point later this month.
Pictured: Busy scenes along Highbridge’s Church Street which councillors fear will get worse when building work begins at Hinkley Point C, above