In the Hastings Observer of 31st May, Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye, repeats the call for the Baldslow Link in order to solve congestion problems on The Ridge. It would do no such thing.
Read our counter letter:
The article here, from last week’s Hastings Observer is hugely symbolic. It………….
……….demonstrates that Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Chancellor Osborne’s Private Parliamentary Secretary, is still happy to repeat the very shaky assertions of ESCC on jobs they claim will flow from BHLR scheme: 3,000 plus, as against the Department for Transport’s analysis of 900 – 1,000. She is misleading her constituents.
The disclosure by the DfT of their officials’ recommendation immediately prior to the funding announcement in the 2012 is to say the least, revealing. As reported in the local and national press, the recommendations included an option of not funding the BHLR, but instead offering:
‘support (for) development of a package of alternative transport measures of benefit to the area’.
Read the disclosures here:
There has certainly been an ‘economy of truth’ here, and because of Chancellor Osborne’s pressure to get the funding announcement into the budget, research into the alternative option was halted prematurely. We want, and the public need to know, what that (inevitably much cheaper) alternative might have delivered. The research should be completed.
In the same article, Amber Rudd claims that the building of the Baldslow Link to the A21 would relieve traffic on The Ridge. ESCC’s evidence to the public inquiry suggested otherwise. By far the largest proportion of traffic is internal to Bexhill and Hastings as illustrated by the ESCC figure here:
This scheme is controversial because of the uncertainty and evident exaggeration around anticipated benefits, the certainty of its destruction of habitats and landscape, huge cost to the public purse and most worringly, the ignorance of evidence on the part of its promoters. Let’s not forget that after its comprehensive assessment process, the Department for Transport rated it second from bottom for value for money, and worst by far for CO2 emissions out of 45 current schemes in England.
Meanwhile, the Rother District Council planning application for the link road from the BHLR to serve developments has attracted over 450 objections. Rother’s consultants helping them progress the application include ‘Genecon’ who came up with the fantasy unchallenged assertion of 3,000 jobs for ESCC.
Amber Rudd, Greg Barker (minister for Climate Change – you couldn’t make it up!) are dismissing evidence, talking rubbish, and in the process of delivering rubbish.
Against this background, and as the photos here show, the destruction and degradation of the Combe Haven and Watermill Stream valleys progresses.
One photo, taken on June 2nd, shows a pair of supposedly protected lapwings attending to and seeking to protect their nest their within the construction site perimeter.
PHOTOS, June 1st, 2013:
1. Barn at Adams Farm – bat roost to be demolished and relocated. Prospects for bats: uncertain. The ‘haul road’ is in the distance.
2. Remains of the hedgerow, Buckholt Lane, now completely grubbed
3. Stump of a once mature oak at the foot of Watermill Stream valley
4. Lapwing circling. One of a pair of these protected birds, currently nesting within the construction site, and not seen breeding in the valley for some time.
6. Damaged sign. These high quality signs are felt by many to be hugely ironic.