Secretary of State for Transport Justine Greening announced on Wednesday, 14th December, that the decision on the BHLR would be deferred until March. She had this to say in respect of the scheme:

“We recognise the critically important role that transport improvements could play in the regeneration of the Bexhill-Hastings area and the economic case underpinning the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road, though we are also aware of concerns regarding the proposed scheme, including its environmental impact.

Before we take a final decision on the scheme we want to be sure that it offers the best approach for regenerating the area and also to consider other transport options to achieve this, including local trunk roads such as the A21, A259 and local rail. We also want to consider whether further environmental mitigation measures could be deployed to address the impacts of the proposed Bexhill-Hastings scheme.

Over the next three months the Department will work alongside the scheme’s promoters and other local and regional partners to gather further evidence on the optimal solution for the area. We would intend to make a decision swiftly thereafter.”

For us this deferment was a huge relief and on its own, appears to justify our hard and constructive campaigning work over the last decade and a half.

We look forward to the dialogue in the months ahead and have already begun to explore the whole range of measures that we believe could contribute to the ‘optimal  solution’ for the area.

We are certain that the promoters’ long term singular focus on the BHLR has obscured the real potential for the showcase sustainable transport package that Bexhill and Hastings deserve. There are exciting opportunities to give the two towns an enviable integrated transport system equal to, or better than the best in the UK, and we look forward to playing a part in identifying these. We sincerely hope that the historic ‘BHLR mantra’ is a thing of the past, where it belongs.


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  1. Richard says:

    Until we resolve the Glyne Gap bottleneck it will never be possible to create an efficient and integrated public transport system because buses will have to go a long way round and will get stuck in traffic.

    The railway only goes runs within a few hundred yards of the seafront with large parts of both Hastings and Bexhill some distance from a station.

    Unless you build a new road how could you get easily by public transport from

    (1) Sidley to Conquest Hospital?
    (2) Hollington to Little Common?
    (3) Pebsham to Hastings Crematorium

    This either means bus services going through the bottleneck and taking a roundabout route or two buses and a train which would also be very time consuming due to the number of interchanges.

    While building a station at Glyne Gap may be part of a longer term plan, it is not a realisitic proposition without the Link Road. It would be a recipe for gridlock.

  2. Karl says:

    The flaw in this analysis of the congestion between Bexhill and Hastings is the likelihood that the congestion will be moved to each end of the link road due to: the higher number of vehicles using the surrounding roads onto the link road, the additional traffic lights at each end, and the change of speed limit (60 mph going down to 30 mph) when going back onto the existing roads. So the congestion ‘avoided’ at Glyne Gap would be encountered at both ends of the new road. The net result of this is that if the road is built, people using public transport using will still have to go through bottlenecks, it’s just that they are different places.

    Also note that the environment statement says that ‘Traffic is forecast to increase on some
    roads in Bexhill and in Hastings, traffic levels along the B2092 Queensway and B2093 The Ridge are forecast to increase with the Scheme together with increases in the Hollington area.’ So there would be increased congestion here too. See
    page 15.

    The original poster asks how easy it was to get between a list of places, the first option is the only one of the three that would affect a significant amount of people, the other two seem to be picked at random. However using we can see that actually all three routes aren’t too difficult to go between and the times taken are not outrageous (in terms of public transport times), indeed it’s possible to get between Sidley and the Conquest without making a change:

    Sidley to Conquest Hospital

    TN39 4BD to TN37 7RD leave at 10:06 on #95 takes 51 minutes (0 changes)

    Normally operated by a wheelchair accessible bus.

    Hollington to Little Common
    TN37 7AE to TN39 4SP

    Leave at 10:01 Take #254 to Warrior square then #99 to Little Common takes 55 minutes (1 change)

    Pebsham to Hastings Crematorium

    TN38 8AY to TN34 2AE
    Leave at 10:43 take #98 to Hastings railway station then #340 to Crematorium takes 49 minutes (1 change)

    There are no easy solutions to congestion, building a road alone will make little difference to the current situation.

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