Why I cannot support Sizewell C

Suffolk County Council submitted a response to the deeply disappointing Sizewell Stage 4 consultation, as did Woodbridge’s Town Council. These are my concerns,  written specifically as Woodbridge County Councillor – and as LibDem Green and Independent group county councillor representing a division affected by the development

First and foremost I deplore that the consultation does little to answer – or even ameliorate – concerns that were raised by the many respondents to the stage 3 consultation. It is as if the concerns and suggestions of the people of Suffolk did not exist.

Secondly,  I would query why we are still even considering building Sizewell C?  It is intended that Suffolk  will  be supplying about 30% of the UK’s electricity – but only about 7% of UK electricity will come from Sizewell C, the rest will be offshore. Suffolk contains 1.4% of the UK’s population. The impact of the building – let alone the running – of Sizewell C will have a 100% impact on the people of Suffolk coastal. This impact is largely negative.

We are told that the benefits of Sizewell C will bring £100m annually to Suffolk.  But the tourist benefit of the Suffolk Coastal AONB  and coastal heaths, and of the natural environment of countryside around  is £240m annually– on all of which Sizewell C will have an adverse impact via a range of issues such as loss of coastal paths, unsympathetic design, the 10-12 year impact of building works, and all the additional traffic. This does not make economic sense.

Thirdly,  the financial case for  nuclear power no longer adds up. EDF will be overcharging UK consumers for electricity from Sizewell for the next 35 years:  prices of offshore wind-generated power, per KWhr, without any subsidy, are less than half what EDF is being guaranteed. Continue reading Why I cannot support Sizewell C

My Woodbridge bus petition is a first step

Bus petition poster

You can sign the petition I have launched to draw attention to bus cuts in Woodbridge and the surrounding areas here https://www.change.org/p/ensure-first-eastern-counties-rolls-back-the-cuts-to-woodbridge-district-s-vital-bus-services-64-and-800

At the beginning of September, First buses cut completely their hourly 800 park and ride extension which provided a fast service to central Ipswich from Woodbridge and Rendlesham. This not only causes problems for Ipswich bound travel – it is a catastrophe for eg those with spouses in the Rendlesham care home. It is heartbreaking.

At the same time the company made significant changes to the the timetabling and route of their complementary 64 route: the buses no longer stop at the Woodbridge Peterhouse estate, and the last bus leaves Ipswich an hour earlier (at 17.50) meaning anyone leaving work in Ipswich later has to walk to Woodbridge from Tesco or the Park &Ride (45m fast walking at the end of a day).. Early-morning buses are also affected, as is hospital travel. There IS no bus at all between Woodbridge and Martlesham Black Tiles.

First declare this is because these services were under-used. We, the passengers who use them, deny this. The services were both well-used and vital to many people with few or no transport choices. They were, however, under-advertised (the 800 did not even carry the Woodbridge -Rendlesham destinations on the six maps that were posted inside each bus).

The impact of these cuts is immense. Timetable and route changes mean that workers are finding difficulties travelling to and from work. Disabled and elderly people, and young parents with buggies are having to walk up to 25 min to a stop. It is no longer possible for non-drivers to visit patients in Ipswich hospital in the evening.

We ask that these cuts and changes be immediately reversed!

More bus cuts devastate the Woodbridge community

Sudden shocking level of cuts to bus services in Woodbridge and beyond demonstrate how completely a privatised model of bus service has failed us country dwellers. Private companies think of shareholder, not of passenger need, and by law the county council can only subsidise services that do not make a profit.

County’s recent decisions to stop funding all roadside bus timetables and refusal to accept bus passes on “on-demand” replacements has added to the confusion and shock of the vulnerable, elderly and disabled people who are most affected.

Young people travelling to college on the Sudbourne – Ipswich 71 (cut from November 2019) have no alternative.

The fast and efficient 800 park and ride extension to Rendlesham vanished last week with three weeks notice. First had never advertised this service on-bus although Woodbridge is crying out for means to take visitor parking offstreet (and I had told First so).

At the same time, cuts and amendations to the 64 bus route have left teachers unable to reach school, disabled people in Peterhouse without access to services, workers in Ipswich with no bus home after 6pm, and no chance of evening hospital visiting by bus at all. It is truly terrible.

We are told by First that passenger numbers do not add up. I am personally reliant on buses, and this has not been my experience. I have also been told that First didn’t count bus pass holders. They are paid for them.

There is little point in councils announcing climate emergency if it is not translated into sustainable travel.

I am calling on  the people of iWoodbridge, Martlesham, Melton and other affected parishes to join me in protesting these damaging decisions by signing this petition .

I am calling on  the parish representatives Woodbridge, Martlesham, Melton to join me in protesting these damaging decisions to First, the council and our MP.

And I also call on everyone to reject our national broken model of bus transport