Link Road funding not straightforward

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IT WAS pleasing to see that the Observer’s report was rightly provisional about the Link Road’s position, stating that the road could proceed but only if approved by the Department for Transport.

This is not new but has been the case since the road was included in the Department’s ‘Development Pool’ of schemes bidding for Government funding.

However, it was somewhat misleading to state that the Chancellor had included funding for the road in his Autumn Statement, as if Mr Osborne had designated funds specifically for the BHLR. The reality is more nuanced than this. He indicated that funding could be made available for any of the development pool schemes but this will apply only for those which are given approval by the DfT. Those decisions are still unknown but we could speculate that, had the Link Road presented a compelling case, it would have been among those specifically named as being given funding on November 29, as 20 others were.

Further to all this, it is interesting to see that East Sussex County Council officers are now recommending cancellation of the long-planned Spur Road scheme, designed to funnel traffic away from where the Link Road would disgorge it, in hugely increased numbers, onto Queensway.

The dropping of the Spur Road, combined with the cancellation of the Baldslow Link, means that the council has literally no plans at all for what will happen to the traffic coming to north and west Hastings and St Leonards from the Link Road.

Even when it is clear that the Government is keen to spend money on infrastructure schemes, there is still hope that this particular one, economically weak and environmentally disastrous, will not pass muster.

GILLIAN BARGERY

Wishing Tree Residents’ Association