Other correspondents have already drawn attention to the fact that the newly opened Bexhill to Hastings link road, or Combe Valley Way, has no signage directing traffic to Hastings or St Leonards.
I should add that, at present, neither does it signpost traffic to Folkestone, the traditional signage for A259 coastal traffic, despite the fact that a 40 per cent reduction in this traffic from the seafront A259 in Hastings and St Leonards is a claimed benefit of the new road.
Most people do not realise that under powers derogated to local authority highways agencies by the secretary of state in April 2012(1), the designation of primary routes such as the A259 is a matter entirely for the local authority.
Once satellite navigation databases used by foreign and domestic heavy goods vehicle drivers are updated (presumably sometime in the spring of 2016) the de facto primary route for such traffic is likely to include Combe Valley Way.
It should be expected that the route for existing A259 through traffic from the Bexhill end will become Combe Valley Way (unclassified), Queensway(unclassified), The Ridge (B2093) and then from the junction in Ore Village rejoining the existing A259 and, of course, vice versa.
It is entirely within the local authority’s powers to re-designate the A259 Primary Route as Comb e Valley Way (A259), Queensway (A259) and The Ridge (A259) and change the signage accordingly, all without consultation or even notification.
Anyone who does not think such an act is being considered and possibly even firmly planned by the local authority is sadly deluded.
I write to draw attention to the pernicious provisions of Section 2.19 of the above mentioned department for transport guidance on this, which I quote in full.
“Consultation with the general public. 2.19 Changes to the PRN do not require public consultation or advertisement, and local authorities do not traditionally do so. An authority is free to use such measures should they wish.”
(PRN = Primary Route Network)
I must draw attention therefore to the provisions of sections 2.27 to 2.32 of the guidance on appeals for changes made after April, 2012.
It is important to note provision exists in section 27 for appeals by any ‘members of the public who are concerned about an authority’s decisions’.
It must be said that the tone of these sections offers little hope of a successful appeal but I feel that everyone should be aware of them.
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