Routes revealed for four-village bypass in Suffolk

image captionSuffolk County Council has put forward proposals for two possible routes for a four-village bypass on the A12

Two options for a multi-million pound bypass around four villages on the A12 in east Suffolk have been revealed.

Either a single or dual carriageway would take traffic away from Marlesford, Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham.

The single carriageway scheme would cost £50m, while the dual carriageway would be £100m.

Suffolk County Council said the road could open in 2023 and was not dependent on Sizewell C being built.

Both routes would cut out the single four-and-a-half mile (7.2km) carriageway section of the A12 which runs between Saxmundham and Wickham Market.

image copyrightSuffolk County Council

EDF Energy wants to build a new nuclear power station at Sizewell and had offered to fund a road which would bypass two of the four villages.

However, in December, Suffolk County Council was awarded £500,000 from the Department of Transport for investigative work for a four-village bypass.

media captionFour villages will benefit from the bypass

County councillor Alexander Nicoll, who has a special responsibility for highways at the Conservative-run authority, said: "We've looked at a scheme to bypass the villages, support the wider economy for east Suffolk, to benefit all parts of the economy including the new offshore windfarm.

"It is not in any way based on whether or not Sizewell C goes ahead."

Mr Nicoll said it was hoped 80% of the funding for the project would come from the government, with the rest found locally.

Local people have been campaigning for a bypass for many years.

Debbie Taylor, of the Four Village Bypass group, said the plans for the new road were "extremely exciting".

"It's something we've been waiting for, for a very long time," she said. "We nearly had a spade in the ground at the end of the 90s, this is the closest we've come in all that time."

A six-week public consultation has started on the routes.

Both proposed routes would begin at a new roundabout at the A1094 and A12 Saxmundham bypass at Friday Street.

They would run south, to the east of the A12, bypassing the four villages, crossing the rivers Alde and Ore.

The proposed single carriageway would rejoin the A12 where the current dual carriageway at Wickham Market begins.

The more expensive dual carriageway option would rejoin the current A12 to the north of the A12/B1078 Wickham Market interchange.

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