Link Road spend rises by £13m as Council considers closure of care homes and day centres

July 9, 2013 by combehavendefenders


Press release
Combe Haven Defenders [1]
Tuesday 9 July

Contact 07565 967 250.


County council slashing services but throwing money at ‘road to nowhere’

The predicted cost of the controversial Bexhill Hastings Link Road (BHLR) is to rise by a further £13m, bringing the total cost up from £100m to over £113m, according to a new report by East Sussex County Council’s Director of Economy, Transport and the Environment.

The report [2], which will be presented to East Sussex County Council (ESCC) on July 10, shows that construction and other building costs are set to rise by almost £11m. ESCC claims in addition that costs of evicting protesters and providing ongoing security for the unpopular project have added £2m to the total.

When the BHLR was proposed in 2002, the estimated cost was £24m [3] – in other words, a mere 21% of the current predicted costs.

The report asks ESCC to approve the additional funding from capital reserves, stating that, ‘We are not intending to cancel projects that are ready to take effect.’ However, it goes on to admit that, ‘Clearly, if the money was not transferred to the BHLR, it could in principle be used for other projects.’

At the same time as ESCC was preparing to spend an extra £13m on the Link Road, it was considering closing six day centres for older people, including the Isobel Blackman centre in Hastings [4]. Also under consideration is closure of Mount Denys care home in Hastings [5], a specialist home providing long term and respite care for people with dementia. The closure would save an estimated £120 – £170,000 a year.

Emily Johns, a spokesperson for Combe Haven Defenders, said, “We said from the very beginning that the costs of the Link Road would spiral upwards very rapidly, and unfortunately we have been proved to be right. It is shocking that the county council is prepared to throw more and more money at this road to nowhere, at the same time as it is slashing provision for the most vulnerable people in our society. We are calling on it to stop building this terrible road, and to re-allocate the money to protecting front line care services which are so vital in people’s lives.”

The BHLR will be on the national stage next weekend, when a National Rally Against Roadbuilding takes place in Crowhurst, near the route of the road [6]. The rally, supported by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB amongst others, aims to send a strong message to Chancellor George Osborne that there will be ongoing resistance to the estimated £30bn of new roads currently in the pipeline.

CONTACT: 07565 967 250



[3] (page 144)




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