Hats off to the link road for experience

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It was hats off to four engineering students who have taken part in special work experience on the new Bexhill to St Leonards link road.

The students from college and university have been given a chance to gain practical experience away from their courses.

They have been working on a range of civil engineering, planning and environmental activities on the scheme – some for months, and one on a placement that has lasted a year.

Tom Jones, 22, from Pett, a civil and coastal engineering student at Plymouth University, said: “This has been a great opportunity to see things in the real world which is completely different from university.

“I have been working here for a year and it’s been an absolutely brilliant opportunity to gain practical experience to back up the theory.”

Alix Sparks, 17, from Eastbourne, is an apprentice with the county highways department while studying for a BTEC in civil engineering at Sussex Downs College. He said: “I’ve been working with some of the engineers on the site and the insight it has given me is absolutely fantastic.

“It’s made me even more determined to make sure my college studies are successful so I can have a career in engineering.”

Oliver Shier from Guernsey and Chris Perry from south Wales were also pictured at the site head office near Crowhurst.

Karl Taylor, East Sussex County Council assistant director for highways, said: “We wanted to make sure that as well as building the road itself we were giving something back to the local communities.

“As well as helping out with volunteering with a range of projects we also wanted to use the masses of talent we have here to help give local youngsters an insight into possible careers across the range of disciplines that are involved in road building.”

The Link Road, to be called Combe Valley Way, will bring major economic benefits to Bexhill and Hastings including 3,000 new jobs. It is due to open in May.