Press release: Hundreds of local residents demand cap on public funding for North Bexhill Access Road

November 2, 2016 by combehavendefenders

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Residents post 5m-long petition

Press release
Combe Haven Defenders [1]
Monday 31 October

Contact 07565 967 250

Photo: Local residents with 370-signature petition http://tinyurl.com/zlkucmw

HUNDREDS OF LOCAL RESIDENTS DEMAND CAP ON PUBLIC FUNDING FOR NORTH BEXHILL “ACCESS” ROAD
Petition posted to local transport quango in form of five-meter-long “road”

Local residents have sent a petition in the form of a five-meter-long “road”, containing over 370 signatures, to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) [2] demanding that no more public funds are allocated to the North Bexhill Access Road (NBAR).

The petition, set up by environmental group Combe Haven Defenders, was posted to the Chair of SELEP, Christian Brodie, today.

SELEP has already promised £16.6m in funding for the NBAR [3], a 2.4km road which would run west from a roundabout junction with the Bexhill Hastings Link Road near Glover’s Farm, to join the A269 west of Sidley. It would allow the entire area of countryside between the new road and the A269 to be infilled with business parks and housing.

However, the Combe Haven Defenders believe that the predicted cost of the road may have been underplayed by developer SeaChange Sussex in order to secure funding [4]. They point out that at 2.4km long, the NBAR would cost £6.9m/km. By comparison, the 5.6km Bexhill Hastings Link Road is currently predicted to cost £124.3m, or £22.2m/km – this is very close to the average cost of new roads, according to research by Campaign for Better Transport [5]. In other words, SeaChange is claiming that per kilometre, the NBAR will work out at less than a third of the cost of the link road, or of the average new road.

Spokesperson for Combe Haven Defenders, Anthony Bradnum, said, ‘We simply don’t believe that this road can be built for £16.6m, when all the evidence suggests it should cost around three times as much. Our concern is that SeaChange may have deliberately underplayed the likely cost of the road in order to secure funding, and that once the project is underway they will approach the South East Local Enterprise Partnership or East Sussex County Council for more money. This petition is demanding a firm commitment that no more public money is thrown at this deeply unpopular and environmentally destructive road.’

Contact: 07565 967 250

Notes

[1] www.combehavendefenders.org.uk

[2] http://www.southeastlep.com/

[3] http://seachangesussex.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/NBAR-being-funded-from-QGR-p63.pdf – see point 4 on page 4 (£7.6m) and point 4.9 on page 63 (£9m) – total = £16.6m

[4] http://seachangesussex.info/300/

[5] http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/sites/default/files/research-files/Roads_to_Nowhere_October2012_web_spreads_0.pdf – see page 4: average cost per metre of new roads £24,650 (ie £24.6m/km).

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