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My letter to the Observer: Is the HS1 extension and the dualling of the A21 at risk from Labour?

April 21, 2015

wilted roseDear Editor,

First of all, can I thank all the business men and women of Hastings & Rye for their contributions to the economic recovery that is underway in our constituency?

One of the points I made at the Federation of Small Businesses hustings at Sussex Coast College on Wednesday evening is that the Liberal Democrats will ensure stability within our economy.  We will balance the books, but balance them fairly, allowing us to invest in core public services.

I have been critical of the Conservatives and Labour because of uncosted promises on the NHS and childcare (Conservatives) and unidentified departmental efficiencies (Labour).

And now we are beginning to see the risks unfold…

This week the Brighton Argus has reported that ‘A bypass designed to relieve congestion on the A27 will be put on hold if Ed Miliband becomes Prime Minister’:

No doubt this is a reminder to many of Labour’s decision to axe our own bypass in the late 1990s.

However what worries me most is that because Labour has not spelt out where it will make cuts, we can’t really know their intentions for current proposed transport infrastructure improvements in Hastings & Rye, such as the dualling of the A21 and the extension of HS1 – let alone my aim of electrifying the Hastings-Ashford line well in advance of 2019, and in due course, a South Coast Mainline Railway.

Instead of posturing as the new party of fiscal responsibility, we need some transparency from Labour on the savings they intend to make over the Parliament.

And we need them quickly.

Yours truly,



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