Council unveils plan for proposed link road

On 25th May 2007, the Council officially unveiled the plans for the proposed link road, and the official 6-week objection started.

Read the Council’s official announcement here.

Read our latest press releases below to see why we think this road would be a disaster for the area.

Hastings Alliance – Press Release

The Hastings Alliance strongly opposes the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road (BHLR)
scheme for several reasons:

  • By introducing 30,000 vehicles a day where there is currently no traffic
    at all, it will needlessly sacrifice Combe Haven valley, a tranquil and
    beautiful asset on the edge of Hastings and Bexhill valued for its landscape
    and wildlife
  • The road will relieve congestion on Bexhill Road but only by simply
    shifting traffic to other areas of Hastings. It fails completely to address
    problems of rising traffic levels. Worse than this, it will lead to more
    traffic in the two towns than if it were not built at all. A massive 30,000
    vehicles a day accessing and leaving the A259 by London Road, Bexhill will
    hardly pass unnoticed by residents over a wide area.
  • The BHLR would not make Hastings or Bexhill any more accessible to the
    wider region, so would be unlikely to attract investment from elsewhere. It
    might attract local firms to relocate from town centres, meaning that their
    employees would have further to go to get to work, probably by car.
  • Government guidance on examination of alternative non-road strategies has
    been ignored by the County Council and its supporters. No proper study has
    ever been carried out to assess what these strategies could achieve. One
    study did conclude that the greater part of the housing development could be
    delivered without the BHLR. If built, the road would be a millstone round
    the neck of alternatives to the car for decades to come. It already
    threatens to undermine the case for new station at Glyne Gap and West
    Marina, and extra services recommended by government studies between Bexhill
    and Ore as well as the existing market.
  • BHLR will result in increases in CO2 (climate change gases) greater than
    originally estimated.
  • Between December 2004 and December 2007, the cost has almost doubled from
    £47 million to £89 million. It is very likely that by now the cost has
    exceeded £100 million. This represents a huge investment in unsustainable
    methods of travel at huge environmental cost, and sets the stage for
    continued land hungry car and road based planning practices.

Derrick Coffee
(Hastings Alliance for Nick Bingham, Chairman)

Hastings Alliance  Press Release – immediate

Link Road: County Council’s climate change policies left in tatters
with promise of massive increase in car trips and CO2 emissions.

The Planning Application for the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road (BHLR)
contains figures that show the CO2 climate change gas emissions anticipated
following construction of the BHLR to be far worse than those in the original
plans sent to government for funding. These emissions will more than wipe out
the CO2 saved by the council elsewhere in the whole county (1)

It is now estimated that close to 6,000 tonnes more CO2 will be produced
every year as a result of the extra 7,300 (mainly) car trips generated by the
Link Road – and that’s a conservative estimate: most new road schemes
generate far more traffic than claimed by their promoters before construction.
(2)

Speaking for the Hastings Alliance, Derrick Coffee said: “East Sussex
County Council in their 2006 ‘Carbon Management Action Plan’ aim to save
5788 tonnes of CO2 every year from their own activities, however the Link Road
would generate 5972 tonnes every year. Unsurprisingly, in terms of CO2
emissions, this makes it the second most damaging scheme out of 59 promoted by
local authorities in the entire UK. (3)

This increased total calls into question the consistency of East Sussex
County Council’s policies to reduce carbon emissions. While the Council could
be applauded for adopting a CO2 reduction target in respect of its schools,
libraries, business travel, etc, it is worse than futile for it to promote a
road scheme that more than cancels out CO2 savings from these areas.

He continued: “We are a coastal county at risk from rising sea levels, and
in any case should be playing our part in reducing emissions of climate change
gases. The memories of Lewes’ floods in 2000 have been rekindled by news of this
week’s floods in the north of England. Investment in land hungry and polluting
car based development has to be halted. The Hastings Alliance urges the public
to press their MPs to lobby new Secretary of State for Communities and Lo cal
Government Hazel Blears, MP, to secure a public inquiry so that the flawed
process and its unacceptable road proposal can be re-examined alongside the kind
of low carbon transport strategy that is essential for the well-being of
future generations.”

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

1. ESCC Carbon Action Management Plan, 2006 2. Beyond Transport
Infrastructure, CPRE/Countryside Agency, 2006 3. Writt en Parliamentary answer
from Gillian Merron, MP, 17th May, 2007

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