Where is Combe Haven Valley?
One of East Sussex’s most tranquil places, Combe Haven Valley is an area of water meadow between St Leonards and Bexhill. Within walking or cycling distance of Hastings Town Centre, it is home to a Site of Special Scientitic Interest.The heart of the valley is just South of Crowhurst.
What’s wrong with the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR)?
At the same time as health and care services are being cut the Government and East Sussex County Council are planning to spend over £100 million on a three-mile road that will actually increase overall traffic levels in Hastings and Bexhill, and significantly increase carbon emissions (a major cause of man-made climate change) and destroying one of the area’s greatest treasures, Combe Haven Valley. It’s a huge waste public money and an environmental disaster.
Isn’t the road needed to bring create desperately needed jobs?
No. There is little or no evidence that the jobs claimed to follow the link road will actually materialise. Moreover, the new business park – the centrepiece of claims about new jobs – is likely to be occupied by local firms relocating from existing premises nearer the town centre. An attractive environment and good public transport are the keys to unlocking needed investment – neither or which will be provided by the Road.
Isn’t the road needed to bring create new housing?
No. The government’s own study shows that the Road isn’t necessary for opening up land for housing and that these needs can be largely met without it. Moreover, new housing is much more likely to be built in places that are well connected to pedestrian, cycle, and expanded bus routes, without the road than with.
Isn’t the road needed to deal with congestion on the Bexhill road?
80-95% of cars using the existing road start and finish their journeys in Bexhill or Hastings. Moreover, the Council’s own plans acknowledge that the new road will lead to an overall 14% increase in traffic in Hastings and Bexhill. Rather than create a new road for through-traffic that doesn’t exist, we should be helping people to replace these local trips with walking, cycling and public transport.
Don’t most people support the link road?
The road certainly has it’s vocal supporters. However, we’re confident that once people realise that the road will simply waste £100 million of public money and destroy one of our greatest local assets, without delivering the promised jobs or dealing with local traffic problems, they’ll make the right decision.
Given that the High Court has recently turned-down the request for a judicial review of the project, isn’t the road inevitable?
Far from it. In the 1990s peaceful protest successfully de-railed Margaret Thatcher’s multi-billion pound road-building programme in a remarkably short space of time. We intend to learn from that experience and believe that together, we can stop this environmentally devastating waste of public money.
What do you mean by “peaceful resistance” to the road?
By “peaceful resistance” we mean the same types of action that Martin Luther King and others used to desegregate the American South, or protestors in Egypt and Tunisia used to get rid of their dictators. Namely, nonviolent action.