FSB blasts Government over link road delay

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BUSINESS leaders have criticised the ongoing delays surrounding the decision on the Hastings-Bexhill Link Road.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the scheme is needed to bring jobs, regeneration and prosperity to the area.

Brett McLean, chairman of the 1066 branch of the FSB, said: “The Government is dilly-dallying once more on a decision concerning a bypass development for the A259 trunk road in the busy towns of Bexhill and Hastings. How long have we waited: five, 10, 15 years now?

“It wants another three months to gather more evidence while other schemes around the country go ahead as part of a multi-million package. It seems we are to lose out again.

“While we understand environmental concerns, this should not be used to block progress.

“This development can be completed in an environmentally sensitive manner while improving the economy and people’s quality of life in the area. A balance needs to be struck.”  

Last month the Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, gave the go-ahead for funding on another 21 transport schemes but the link road failed to make the list.

The scheme will be subject to another detailed examination by Department for Transport bosses, who are looking at other transport options such as rail links and the possibility of improving the A21 and A259.

A fuller assessment of the environmental aspects will also be assessed and a decision is expected by the end of March.

East Sussex County Council has already spent £15 million of taxpayers’ money on the bid and has committed another £22.5 million.

The FSB is urging businesses to write to their MP and Peter Jones, the county council’s leader, to make their views known.

Contact details can be found on the local FSB website at www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex.