What East Sussex County Council would rather you didn’t know …

January 11, 2013 by combehavendefenders

The following full-page ad appears in today’s Hastings & St Leonards, Bexhill, and Rye & Battle Observers, paid for by the Combe Haven Defenders, Bexhill Link Road Resistance and the Hastings Alliance.

combe haven observer ad wholepage3

Referenced version

… East Sussex County Council (ESCC) wants to spend up to £70 million of our money on the road, at the same time as it is cutting the county’s budget by £70m.

In Dec 2010, ESCC stated that ‘given current funding pressures’, it could not spend more than £18m in total on the road [1]. Now, ESCC has agreed to spend £35m on the road [2], and for council tax payers to pick up the bill for all overrun costs – likely to be a further £35m [3].

…More congestion is on the way

ESCC admits that the Link Road will increase traffic by 26% on the Ridge, 61% on Gillsmans Hill, and 81% on Queensway [4] – and this is before taking into account the extra traffic created when 1,100 new houses, and over half a million square feet ofindustrial space, are built along the Link Road north of Bexhill. It will decrease journey times between Bexhill and Hastings by a maximum of five minutes.

…Combe Haven could be a World Heritage Site

There is considerable evidence that Combe Haven Valley may be the true site of the Battle of Hastings [5]. Putting a road through it would be an unforgivable act of cultural vandalism, destroying forever what is potentially a World Heritage Site. The ESCC needs to stop work until national archaeologists have had time to investigate evidence on the ground.

…The Department for Transport almost certainly recommended that the road should not be funded

The DfT has produced a review of the case for the road, with opinion on whether funding should be refused or approved. When the Hastings Alliance asked to see these recommendations, they had been blacked out [6]. We are not allowed to see this information, although ESCC and the Treasury plan to spend millions of pounds of public money on the road.

…The road is just financially stupid
The Department for Transport itself says ‘The risk of the scheme achieving low value for money is significant’ [7].

[1] ESCC expression of interest: Local Authority Major Schemes Development Pool, Dec 2010.  http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/264C021F 2085-4B69-8A69-292C974B8D15/0/ExpressionofInterest_opt.pdf
[2] BHLR application for full approval, Dec 2012. http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/7F8112E1-6058-4CAA-ACBB-6DE5E7633F55/0/bhlr_full_approval_2012.pdf
[3] http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/press_notice_home/0607/0607321.aspx
[4] Bexhill to Hastings Link Road Evidence Review, DfT, March 2012. Available here.
[5] http://secretsofthenormaninvasion.wordpress.com
[6] See here for extracts and full documents
[7] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/5001/annex-2b.pdf

%d bloggers like this: