CALLS have been made for a senior dignitary to “do the decent thing” and allow proper debate on EDF’s proposals to increase lorry traffic over the next two years.

Roads around Bridgwater are often congested at peak times and plans to increase HGV movements to Hinkley Point C by up to 250 per day have been met with outrage.

EDF Energy has asked Somerset County Council, Sedgemoor District Council, West Somerset Council and Highways England to accept the proposal while work continues on a new jetty, which will not be fully operational by 2019.

Somerset Labour has called on Councillor David Hall, the Conservative portfolio holder for resources and economic development, who the party says will make the final decision, to put the town first.

Somerset County Council will make its final decision on the plan on Monday.

Labour councillors Brian Smedley, Mick Lerry and Leigh Redman are applying pressure on Mr Hall over claims the proposal will be “steam rolled” through the councils.

Cllr Redman, Somerset Labour leader, said in a letter: “I am writing to say that I am disgusted by the way this decision appears to be being steam rolled through. From my opinion, to be presented with a faite accompli, a final package of mitigation.

EDF is proposing to put £4 million of extra funding into measures to mitigate the extra HGV movements.

This would help maintain roads, contribute to the Somerset County Council’s traffic control centre, and create more walking and cycling routes. The extra funding could also support construction of the long awaited Colley Lane Southern Access Road which is due to be decided by Somerset County Council later this month.

EDF is currently allowed an average of 500 HGV movements per day in any given quarter, with a maximum of 750 per day.

However, the company is now seeking to increase the quarterly average to 750 HGV movements per day until the end of September 2019 when the jetty is set to be fully operational.

EDF says completion of the jetty will allow 80 per cent of the material needed to build the power station to be brought in by sea rather than by road.

Councillor Brian Smedley, leader of Bridgwater Town Council, said: “When you take your portfolio decision next week I would ask that you lay down the law to EDF regarding what many people are seeing as ‘taking Bridgwater for a ride’.

“If these extra movements are totally necessary, then their mitigation package needs to be considerably higher and apart from the obvious suggestions, like double glazing and air quality monitoring, a genuine long term commitment by EDF to solving the future transport infrastructure of the town … is the least we could ask for.”

A Somerset County Council spokesperson said: “In order to enable the Hinkley Point C project to progress, EDF Energy requires the change to take effect from 1 January 2018. The relevant local authorities are following the correct processes to enable a final decision to be made by the Transport Review Group by this time.”

David Eccles, EDF Energy’s head of stakeholder engagement for Hinkley Point C, said: “We continue to work with authorities to minimise impact of the Hinkley Point C project. Our focus remains to maximise the use of deliveries to site by sea, but for a temporary period we need to increase our road deliveries.”