Council face decision over link road madness

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WE read in last week’s Observer that the Link Road project has been resurrected and assume therefore that the EU has pointed out once more that the Bexhill Road exceeds EU permitted emission levels.

So is it a knee-jerk reaction by East Sussex County Council (ESCC) to revive this colossally expensive and useless road, which will spew yet more traffic onto the already dangerously overloaded Ridge?

Or is it perhaps the developers who snapped up land around the link road’s route who are now pushing both councils to promote the project to Whitehall so that they can make money in these hard times from their investments?

Either way, the nightmare of the residents of north Hastings has returned. The Ridge is the only main road we have and we are forced to use it.

We are equally forced to share it with the heavy through traffic which HBC has for years encouraged onto The Ridge.

Presumably because tourists dodging HGVs on the seafront is bad for the Hastings resort image.

To add to the chaos up here, Conquest Hospital traffic is also diverted off the Bexhill Road onto The Ridge.

Also, let us not forget Helenswood School and its all-day traffic as students and staff commute between their different sites.

HBC planning has known about the link road plans for years, yet continues to allow unchecked high-density housing developments along the eastern Ridge, all with The Ridge as their access road.

Within a half-mile we have the new Norcross Close estate and permission granted for further crowded housing estates on the sites of Hurst Court, Ledsham Court and Osborne House. This week there is a new application to build a block of 14 two- and three-bedroom flats next to Helenswood School. Again, The Ridge will be the only access road.

Our county and local councils have two options with The Ridge.

The first option is to officially designate The Ridge as a main trunk route ‘limb’ of the A259 and to ban all new residential developments butting onto it immediately.

Option two is to restore The Ridge to its traditional residential status of family homes by allowing only sensibly spaced housing and by rejecting any plan to make The Ridge part of a bypass.

What is not an option is the present situation where housing and roadside developers rule, while the welfare of the unfortunate population of north Hastings is treated with apparent contempt by both our councils.

Surely it is not beyond councillors to realise which option is needed so desperately, before local lives are utterly blighted by the assumption of these elected representatives and their employees that only they know what is good for us?

ERICA BARRETT

Chairman

Pilot Field Area Residents’ Association