Link Road will cost town too much

IAN Duncan (Observer, Sept 16) and Erica Barrett (Observer, Sept 23) rightly warn of the traffic which the link road would bring to the north and west of the towns.

The figures are frightening – by 2015 the link road would result in a projected increase of between 26 per cent and 32 per cent for The Ridge, of 35 per cent for Gillsmans Hill, and 81 per cent for Queensway.

The proposed Baldslow Link (which, it was claimed, would disperse this traffic to the east and north to the A21) was conclusively cancelled by the Government a year ago, with no realistic prospect of being revived.

The road’s benefits are hard to detect. East Sussex’s own consultants find that user benefits will be ‘neutral’ for 48 per cent of those in the road’s ‘impact area’, while only six per cent will experience a ‘large benefit’.

Analysis of air and noise impact tells a similar tale; in both cases the largest single number of people will experience no change – 95 per cent will see no difference in air quality but of those affected 75 per cent will be adversely affected.

Almost half of those in the impact area will experience no difference in noise levels but many more (36 per cent) will have more noise than will have less noise (14 per cent).

The road’s primary objective of bringing employment can be wished for, but not guaranteed, and there is certainly no way to ensure that any jobs would be accessible to those who need them (carless figures being highest in the most deprived areas).

Add to this the money involved. At a cost of nearly £86 million, the link road is one of the three most costly (from 45) schemes being considered, competitively, by the Government for a limited pot of funding.

The only third party funding is a tiny amount from SEEDA, which is surely public money anyway.

That East Sussex can, at a time of severe cutting of public expenditure, have already ‘prioritised and allocated’ £28.86 million of council taxpayers’ money for the link road, should the Government fund the rest, is mystifying. What is being sacrificed for this?

GILLIAN BARGERY

Wishing Tree Residents’ Association