FAQs & Travel Advice for Somerset Tourism Businesses
Travel advice during the Hinkley Point C Construction period
This information is produced by the Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership (HTAP) as part of the Hinkley Visitor Travel Management Plan. All comments are based on information available to HTAP at the time and intended to be advisory only.
What are EDF Energy and local authorities doing about increased traffic from the construction site at Hinkley Point C?
Before permission was granted for building the new power station the public, businesses and other organisations were consulted on the potential implications for travel. As a result, a package of measures to reduce the impact of the additional traffic was agreed through the planning process. Some £16 million of investment has been committed to improve Somerset’s roads by EDF Energy and projects have already included a new bypass for Cannington, upgrades to junctions in Bridgwater, a Travel Management Plan, information displays and a monitoring system that ensures vehicles use only approved routes from junction 23 and 24 of the M5 to Hinkley Point C itself. Work on the highways is managed by Somerset County Council (SCC) which has a useful website with information about current and future roadworks in the area. www.travelsomerset.co.uk
Are all the road improvements complete?
The vast majority of the £16 million pound improvement work is almost complete with the final project being in Bridgwater along Bristol Road and Wylds Road. Full details of this project are available on the Hinkley Point C Project website: www.edfenergy.com/HPCfaq
EDF Energy is building Park and Ride and freight management facilities at a number of points along the route from junction 23 and 24 of the M5, through Bridgwater and out to Hinkley Point. These will reduce the number of vehicles and number of journeys to and from site. New cycle paths have also been provided to encourage greater use of alternative forms of travel.
How is the work on the road network planned?
The work is programmed to minimise traffic congestion and delays. It should be noted that not all work on the highways is connected with the HPC project. Some will be related to new developments and some will be required by the service companies and all the required work is taken account of when programming the EDF work.
What do I do if I see an HPC lorry somewhere I think it should not be?
You are not likely to see a lorry connected with the project anywhere that it should not be. The drivers have strict rules about the route they can use and their vehicles are identifiable through an ‘HPC Delivery’ notice on their front windscreens. However, if you have any concerns about the movement of lorries or behaviour of their drivers and you think they might be connected with the project, please contact EDF Energy on free phone 0800 096 9650 (24 hours) or complete their enquiries form
If traffic congestion causes disruption to our business can we claim compensation?
Work to improve roads in Somerset will have a long-term benefit and. every effort is being made to make sure disruption is kept to a minimum.. However, EDF Energy and the local authorities accept that there will be some disruption in the short term along the route to the construction site. As a result, there is money available for areas most affected through the Community Impact Mitigation (CIM) Fund. For more information, please visit;www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/cim
What can I tell my customers?
You might like to suggest that they travel outside of peak times if at all possible and consider alternative routes if the one they had planned is likely to be subject to congestion. Details of all roadworks planned across the County can be found on the Travel Somerset website. Your customers might also like to break the journey at one of Somerset’s many local attractions. You could use your social media accounts to post road status if delays are worse than normal and let them have details of how to access your pages. You could also suggest places to stop and eat en route. This is one way to gain likes and followers. If customers are not able to travel outside of peak times, it might be appropriate to advise them to allow plenty of time for their journey. If they have had a lengthy trip and you greet them with a warm Somerset welcome, it may not seem quite so bad.
What is the Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership?
The purpose of the Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership is to support the tourism industry in alleviating and managing challenges and maximising opportunities from the development of Hinkley Point C. The partnership includes representatives from the following organisations and more information can be found at www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/Tourism---Leisure/Tourism/Hinkley-Tourism-Action-Partnership