OUR MP Amber Rudd pinpoints exactly what is wrong with the new Link Road when she refers to it in her ‘Transport Update’ article in the Observer as ‘this small road’.
Our area is riddled with ‘small’ roads and it is this lack of dual carriageway routes that impedes the regeneration of Hastings. Even the tiny dual stretch at Flimwell we all valued so much has gone, apparently for ever.
Any business considering locating here has to factor in that its vehicles will have to weave along winding ‘small’ roads for at least an hour before reaching the nearest ‘big’ roads: the M25, M23 or M2.
Therefore the only ‘help’ the link road will bring is to the bank balances of developers, and as Bexhill is closer to the M23 any possible regeneration advantage will surely be at that end of the road.
As Bexhill is not in Ms Rudd’s constituency, this will be of minimal advantage to her electors. Her constituents will only get increased congestion along their residential roads where the link road peters out in north Hastings and vehicles search for easy routes to get back onto the A259.
Ms Rudd also cites ‘investment in the line from Ashford to Hastings’. May I suggest that she spends time travelling this route by train?
She will then discover that her constituents who live between Ore and Rye have been virtually stripped of their train services and that what were thriving little stations when she was elected are now almost ghost stations, forcing those who used to rely on trains to now rely on cars. Which, of course, have no alternative but to use the ‘small’ roads for their journeys.
‘Progress with our transport links’ seems to us who have to use them to be millimetering rather than ‘inching’ forward.
Gaining faster trains to London is excellent, but if passengers have to drive considerable distances to catch a train, then whole-journey times are unaltered or become longer.
‘Link’ roads that don’t link up with major national routes are of little value. We need more dramatic, faster action if this constituency is to get the essential infrastructure it so desperately needs.