NOT TOO LATE TO SAVE A BEAUTIFUL VALLEY
It’s not too late to object! That’s the message from the Hastings Alliance which is appealing to anyone wishing to scrap the Link Road to submit their objections by the 6th of March. Although compulsory purchase orders and side road orders have been issued by East Sussex County Council to clear the way for their destructive road scheme and stop up lanes, we can object to these procedures.
The Alliance is calling for alternative transport solutions and development plans that would not wreck one of the south east’s precious resources – a beautiful unspoilt valley containing protected wildlife species and habitats and nationally important archaeological sites.
The valley is a great leisure facility on the doorstep of 130,000 people as well as a unique tourism asset.
Speaking on behalf of the local and national organisations that make up the Alliance, chairman Nick Bingham said: "The need for the road has never been demonstrated. Alternative transport solutions, and development proposals that would not be road based have been ignored. The massive environmental damage in pursuit of fictional claims of 2000 extra jobs is completely unacceptable. There is a strong possibility that some of the out of town jobs will simply replace ‘in-town’ jobs thus requiring those who currently walk to work to get a car. This is not an option for an area where only 39% of households have one [see note 1]. How many town centres have to be ruined by out of town developments for the lesson to be learnt that local shops and businesses close down where urban sprawl and big retail sheds rule?
Major roads are bad for local economies and favour footloose employers who are quick to depart.
Small businesses are a positive feature of both Bexhill and Hastings; with the Link Road they could disappear."
The road was estimated in a government funded study to cost £24m in 2002 [see note 2], conditionally approved by government in 2004 at £47m (one condition being: no increase in cost!) and is currently priced at £100m. The costs are clearly now out of control and this is reflected in council tax increases this year for all in East Sussex. The road would clearly be very poor value for money, and prevent sustainable non-polluting alternatives from playing a full part in meeting our needs. The road will produce 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, more than cancelling out East Sussex County Council’s aspiration to reduce emissions in all its schools and libraries.
We urge readers to send objections to:
National Transport Casework Team,
4th Floor, Citygate,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
These may be sent by e-mail:
Please object if you agree that the road should be scrapped and subjected to a public inquiry on grounds of no proven need, environmental damage, poor value for money, alternatives never examined, reckless haste to provide the ?wrong
Please log on to: http://www.hastingsalliance.com or phone 01424 883319
Notes to Editor:
1 South Coast Corridor Multi-Modal Study, 2002 for DETR