Road not the answer

G HUME (letters, September 7) accuses those who oppose the link road of being a ‘minority group of selfish people’, who are wasting money by delaying construction, and have no concern for the people who live along the Bexhill Road.

In fact, those of us involved in trying to stop the road are only too aware of the appalling traffic problems along the Bexhill Road, and are keen to see action taken to alleviate them. However, the building of a new road which according to the county council’s own figures will increase overall traffic by 14 per cent, is not a sustainable or financially viable solution.

Funding was announced in last year’s autumn statement, and this year’s budget, for 45 transport schemes around the country. Of these 45 schemes, the link road was by far the worst in terms of carbon emissions. It was almost last in terms of value for money (these are the government’s own figures), and was described by the Department for Transport as ‘poor’.

The county council describes Combe Haven as ″probably the finest medium-sized valley in East Sussex, outside of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is set within a high-quality landscape of historic and wildlife interest and contains peaceful and remote countryside.” The impact of tens of thousands of vehicles a day travelling through this landscape would have a devastating effect on the whole of the valley, destroying pristine countryside which can never be restored.

The link road is going to cost local taxpayers a minimum of £44 million, probably much more, at a time when public services are being severely cut and we’re told we all have to pull in our belts. For a fraction of that cost, the problems of the Bexhill Road could be alleviated by reinstating the railway station at Glyne Gap, and providing a much improved, and cheaper, bus service along the road, along with other improvements to make public transport, cycling and walking far more attractive than they are at present (studies carried out on the feasibility of reopening the station at Glyne Gap showed that pound for pound, the station would be much better value for money than the link road).

G Hume is correct that thousands of people are suffering because of the traffic on the Bexhill Road; however, the link road is likely to simply move the problem - and in fact cause increased traffic - so that people in other parts of Hastings and Bexhill suffer instead. We have to look to more creative and sustainable solutions to traffic problems: the link road is not the answer.


St Thomas’s Road