A TRANSPORT study over the proposed Hinkley Point C development will be open for debate at a council meeting next week.

Sedgemoor District Council is set to receive the detailed findings of the independent transport study and will discuss them on Monday, February 27.

Councillors and members of the public will hear a presentation on the options for reducing traffic problems in Bridgwater if the power plant is given the go ahead.

The report, which was commissioned by Sedgemoor District Council, West Somerset Council and Somerset County Council, has now been made public today.

The report says EDF Energy’s own assessment of a northern bypass for Bridgwater as an option was not adequate, despite the council asking for it to be considered from the outset of the project.

The study concludes that without the necessary technical work completed, it would not be possible to deliver the road in time to reduce the impact of the project within the current EDF Energy timescales set for Hinkley Point C.

It also found that a bypass would come at a high environmental as well as financial cost.

SDC Leader, Duncan McGinty said: “It is regrettable that we have had to commission this work at the local tax payers’ expense, which was the job EDF Energy should have done if it wants to route all its construction traffic through our town.

“We shall continue to argue for a better solution from the company for reducing this burden.”

Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council's cabinet member for economic development, said: "The study confirms what we have been stating for some time - EDF's current traffic proposals will not mitigate all the impacts of their project.”

EDF Energy said they agreed that minimising vehicle numbers and improving traffic flow was preferable to a bypass.

But a spokesman said the report did not fully acknowledge their proposed transport schemes.

He denied SDC’s claims they had not carried out a study and said their findings from a comprehensive transport assessment last year came to largely the same conclusions as the council.