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Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

The proposed Queensway Gateway Road between Sedlescombe Road North and Queensway (image: Sea Change Sussex).

CHD wrong on road project, say Sea Change

Sea Change Sussex, the agency applying to build the Queensway Gateway Road, have taken issue with Combe Haven Defenders’ (CHD) representation of the project in yesterday’s article entitled New road set to increase traffic congestion. A spokesman sent HOT the following statement.

The Combe Haven Defenders’ claims about the impact of Sea Change Sussex’s proposed Queensway Gateway Road on local congestion is totally misleading – taking sections of our transport consultant’s report out of context.

Firstly, they misrepresent our main purpose in developing the road by talking of its “stated aim of relieving congestion”. Instead, our primary goal has always been to support job creation. This road has huge potential to do just that: it would open up access to new business sites which could support up to 1,370 jobs.

Secondly, there would be big spin-off benefits to local traffic as the new road would provide more appropriate routes for many journeys and remove notorious safety and congestion spots. The road would particularly help traffic flows along a central section of The Ridge by providing a far better alternative to The Ridge and Junction Road – a current pinch point and safety problem – for traffic moving between Queensway and the A21.

Ironically, this is exactly the issue the Combe Haven Defenders were campaigning to be addressed a few months ago by standing with placards warning of ‘gridlock’ along The Ridge!

Thirdly, while many local junctions are indeed already busy during peak periods and are forecast to continue being so – with or without this scheme – the new road would have a negligible impact on this and was never intended to address this issue. Instead, several of these junctions are being considered by other agencies. For example, the Highways Agency is looking at ways to improve the A21/A28 junction, and East Sussex County Council is working on options to improve several parts of The Ridge.

In short, the Queensway Gateway Road would have a big positive impact on jobs, help address safety and congestion points, re-route traffic away from local rat-runs and have a negligible impact on junctions which are already busy.
See New road set to increase traffic congestion.

Today, Tuesday 28 October, is the last day for submitting comments to HBC on the application, which can be done here.

Posted 10:46 Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 In: Campaigns

4 Comments

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  1. Barbara Rogers

    I agree with Karl:upgrade the existing industrial estates, and while you’re about it, make sure there is good public transport to them so that local people can take the jobs – many people in Hastings do not have cars. This means improving and modifying the bus routes, NOT cutting them as ESCC is about to do.
    The only reservation I have is that offices on their own are not in great demand on the estates (though we could do with more small offices in Hastings). Some really serious market research on what entrepreneurs really want would be the best approach, or building to order after demolishing stuff that nobody wants.

    Comment by Barbara Rogers — Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014 @ 18:15

  2. Emily Johns

    What! The primary role of the Bexhill Hastings Link Road is not to relieve congestion! How many years have the people of Bexhill and Hastings been sold the line that the most important purpose of the road was remove traffic, pollution and congestion from the Bexhill Road? Are you saying that all those years the County Council was trying distract our communities’ attention from the real plan which was build all over the valley in the name of commercial development, something that they knew would not be a winning argument?
    Moreover Seachange has the audacity to criticise the Combe Haven Defenders for letting the residents of the Ridge know that there would be gridlock there. This was at a time when Seachange had not let the public know that they had another big road scheme, the Baldslow Link, up their sleeves carving through more meadows and woodland within the bounds of St Leonards. Did they think that communities would agree to a vast road scheme destroying the ancient and beautiful places of St Leonards and Bexhill and filling the space between with business parks. No they didn’t! They sold the road on a lie and have extended it by stealth. Many fear that the ultimate goal of East Sussex County Council is to plough a dual carriageway through the untouched Brede Valley and achieve a road scheme that was turned down by the government years ago on the grounds that it would suck employment out of the town. Now that’s what I would call ironic.

    Comment by Emily Johns — Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014 @ 14:45

  3. Karl Horton

    Seachange’s problems seem to stem from creating a small number of very large projects, thus if any of those projects fail, a lot of tax-payer’s money is wasted. If they could only put more effort into the existing industrial estates – knock down the stuff that is in bad condition or empty, put up some A1 grade offices in their place. Not rocket science. Fill these up, then we can start talking about building on greenfield sites. Lets vote these people out of office – oh you can’t.

    Comment by Karl Horton — Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 @ 22:12

  4. Andrea Needham

    Sea Change claims this road ‘could’ support 1370 jobs. Let’s look at the likely scenario:

    Seachange is already developing a huge business park at the bexhill end of the link road. Who will fill it, we’re not told. In Hastings, it has ‘enviro 21’ (which they couldn’t fill for some years after they built it – http://tinyurl.com/px64gta – and which still has lots of room for more units which they’re not building presumably because nobody wants them), and ‘Queensway North’, where a large area of woodland was cut down in the spring (in the nesting season), and which now stands forlorn and completely undeveloped apart from a short access road (pic here: http://tinyurl.com/n4lwjtq.)

    If they can’t fill these spaces, why are they so intent on building more? And if there is no call for yet more of these sites, there is no reason to build the road – seachange admits in the piece above that relieving congestion is not the purpose of the road, which is just as well because it won’t do it.

    This is just ‘regeneration’ Seachange style: pour more and more public money into more and more ‘business parks’, even when the evidence suggests that there is no demand for them. That this one is going to be built on a site of nature conservation importance is simply unforgivable. (more here: http://combehavendefenders.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/3889/)

    Comment by Andrea Needham — Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014 @ 12:08

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