July 20, 2016 by combehavendefenders
Combe Haven Defenders 
Wednesday 20 July
Contact 07565 967 250
Image – Children plant trees in Hollington Valley, site of Queensway Gateway road http://tinyurl.com/jookbpo
RESIDENTS DEMAND ANSWERS OVER INFLATED COSTS FOR HASTINGS ROAD
Local developer fails to explain why Queensway Gateway Road budget has dropped from £15m to £6m
Hastings residents are demanding to know why the budget for the Queensway Gateway Road (QGR) has dropped from £15m to £6m – a decrease of 60%. A Freedom of Information request made by local environmental group Combe Haven Defenders, asking to see the budget for the road, was refused . The same request was made to SeaChange Sussex, but no response was received.
The QGR is being funded from the government’s Local Growth Fund, administered by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP). An East Sussex County Council document from June 2015 confirms that the QGR was allocated £15m in funding . The business case for the QGR describes the £15m as ‘reduced capital costs’, suggesting that the original cost estimate may have been even higher .
However, minutes of a SELEP meeting from November 2015  state that ‘Sea Change now think the [QGR] will be delivered for £6m’. The minutes go on: ‘East Sussex County Council/ Sea Change looking to re-allocate the £9m ‘saving’ to North Bexhill Access Rd’. There is no explanation as to why the estimated cost has come down by 60%. According to the Campaign for Better Transport, the average cost of new roads is £24,650/m , which would mean that the 600m QGR should cost around £14.8m.
Combe Haven Defenders spokesperson Andrea Needham said, ‘The Queensway Gateway Road is being funded entirely with public money. We do not understand how a road which was costed at £15m – which would appear to be a reasonably accurate figure, based on the average per metre cost of new roads – can suddenly only cost £6m, allowing the extra money to be put towards another unpopular local road, the North Bexhill Access Road. We believe SeaChange Sussex has some very serious questions to answer about the funding of both these roads, and we are disappointed that a body which relies entirely on public money is apparently not answerable to the public.’
Contact 07565 967 250