Sluice project for A12 at Blythburgh delayed

A flood alleviation scheme to stop a problem spot on the A12 between Lowestoft and Ipswich has been delayed until next year.

Suffolk County Council wants to build a sluice to tackle flooding on the A12 at Blythburgh, near Southwold, where it meets the River Blyth.

Motorists on that stretch of road sometimes have to battle through water due to bad flooding.

It was hoped the sluice work would start by the end of this year but it has been revealed the project has been pushed back until September 2013.

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey has been told by the council that work will start next year because of extra studies to ensure environmental, habitat and water quality concerns are addressed.

There was a tight construction window for the work between September and December this year in order to avoid disturbance to over-wintering birds and to minimise disruption to summer traffic.

But due to the extra environmental work, construction work is due to start in September 2013.

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Dr Coffey said: 'When the road floods it causes major delays and inconveniences people and businesses in the area. It is a shame about the delay but it is important we get it right.' David Tytler, chairman of Blythburgh Parish Council, said: 'We were a bit suspicious of the deathly silence on the project and perhaps this announcement explains that.

'Still, it does not do to be churlish – but it is a shame that it has been put back with the risk of further flooding on the A12.'

In January 2011 the county council selected the sluice plan after dropping an alternative option to raise the A12 due to requests from local community to consider the sluice option.

The Department of Transport has provided �1.8m for the plan which involved the Environment Agency and Natural England.

anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk

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