HINKLEY Point operator EDF Energy is spending £3 million on a new traffic system – but residents and council bosses still want a bypass to divert Hinkley traffic from Bridgwater.

The energy giant has announced it will fork out for an automated traffic management system to control deliveries to Hinkley Point C and reduce the impact of road freight traffic on local roads.

The new web-based delivery management system will use Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, placed between the M5 and the site, to track HGV movements and ensure only designated freight routes are used.

But Sedgemoor District Council chairman Gill Slocombe told the Mercury : “I think it’s still going to be traffic chaos. They have thrown us scraps and it’s a shame.

“They’ve lost the ability to understand we need a northern bypass road and that nothing else will ever compensate.

“I feel they’ve let Sedgemoor and Bridgwater down.”

Bridgwater town clerk Alan Hurford said he hoped the system would enable constant monitoring, which Bridgwater Town Council asked for, but added: “We need to remember the preference locally was for a bypass, thus taking much of the expected traffic out of Bridgwater completely.

“The preliminary works have not yet fully started so the sooner the delivery management system is in place the better.”

EDF said hauliers will also need to book a delivery slot to Hinkley Point C weeks in advance and HGV movements will be limited during permitted hours.

County Council economy chief Cllr David Hall said: “We are delighted to work with EDF to help establish a system to monitor and control construction traffic.”

Nigel Cann, Hinkley Point C construction director, said he recognised concerns many people have about traffic during construction.

He added: “Our transport strategy is based on reducing the impact by delivering as much material as possible by sea, as well as investing in road impro-vements and carrying workers to and from site by bus.”

The new system will be introduced in phases from November.

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