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I agree with Norman on the Link Road

February 2, 2015

Press release from my Lib Dem colleague Norman Baker’s office,

Protesters tried to block the progress of the Link Road to no avail

Protesters tried to block the progress of the Link Road to no avail

30 January 2015:

‘A further £2.9 million will be poured into the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road, if the draft budget being put before the county council on February 10th is approved next month. Meanwhile the Tory-controlled council is at the same time slashing bus services to save £1.88 million.

‘The extra £2.9m is just the latest increase in costs for the controversial road, whose value is uncertain at best and which is environmentally highly destructive. This further increase by £2.9 million above the contingency fund is put down to increased archaeological investigations during the construction of the road and weather-related delays.

‘The Cabinet accepted the recommendation which now forms part of the draft budget for 2015/16, which now goes to the full council on 10 February. This means the cost of the road has risen inexorably to a whopping £116.4 million, with all the extra costs falling on the East Sussex taxpayer. The Department for Transport has made it plain that its original grant of £56.85m will not be increased.

‘And the pain may not end there. The report to the ESCC Cabinet notes that “…there remains a risk of further increases in the forecast outturn in the event of, for example, poor weather conditions or other risks that may occur.”

‘Lewes Lib Dem MP Norman Baker says: “The Tory county council says they have no money to protect vital bus services, the loss of which will stop people from rural areas in particular from getting to work or accessing essential services in our towns. But it seems at the drop of a hat they can regularly find more and more millions to fund their pet road project, the somewhat pointless Hastings to Bexhill link road.

“This demonstrates both appalling financial management and a callous disregard for people on low incomes, those dependent on bus services, and for the environment, all concerns raised by Lib Dem colleagues, and Nick Perry the PPC for Hastings, since and before 2010”

‘Originally local taxpayers were told the council’s contribution for their vanity project would be approx. £35.5 million, but it has now risen to £59.55 million

‘The already revised date of May for inaugurating the road has also been scrapped and no alternative date fixed.’

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4 Comments
  1. And what is your view on the proposed additional link Queensway to A21 that threatens to destroy a designated Site of Nature Conservation Importance in the name of yet another new business park when so many nearby units still remain empty? Adding in a business development case to justify the road and its cost seems to me a very dodgy way of doing things, especially when the SNCI will be much less affected without a new business park. If the need for a new road and its cost cannot be justified alone then a new road is simply not justified at all in my view.

    • nickperrylibdem permalink

      Thanks for making contact. I went to the Planning Committee meeting tonight with an open mind but the case made for the road was not at all compelling. #anotherLinkRoad

  2. Yes it was passed by 9 votes to nil. This is very troubling, especially as one Councillor acknowledged in the meeting there was an oversupply of industrial areas locally, and that planning applications for the business park might not come for years, even until the end of the current Local Plan (2028). If ever. https://combehavendefenders.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/4199/#like-4199

  3. That should read ‘Yet it was passed….’

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