With Lewes MP Maria Caulfield, I have vowed the campaign for A27 improvements continues after a Westminster meeting with newly appointed roads minister John Hayes.
We told him it was imperative substantial investment is made to make the road fit for purpose and that overall traffic has increased by 42% on the 3.3mile stretch of the road between Drusillas roundabout and Polegate since 2000.
John previously visited Eastbourne and was driven along the A27 so he has experienced the road, seen the dangerous mix of traffic and will appreciate the environmental sensitivities of this very beautiful part of the county. The meeting was a positive one and we welcomed John back, but we told him A27 improvement remains THE top priority for business across East Sussex.
Locals will know this campaign to improve safety and journey times is decades long but with new consensus and joint working, we are finally making progress. Late in 2014 we secured an initial £75m investment for the road Polegate to Lewes and are working hard on the next bid in the second round of government funding.
The Freight Traffic Association and East Sussex Healthcare Trust – two significant operators – are looking to support the business case, and we met again last week with MPs and council leaders last week to plan their next steps. Delays cost estimated at £1 a minute for HGVs and for the hospital trust, journeys are often time sensitive so ‘cost’ on many levels.
The Chief Executive of the Eastbourne and District Chamber of Commerce Christina Ewbank, who attended the meeting said “It was great to attend such a positive meeting about the A27 at County Hall and witness the consensus from all the MPs, the NHS, all the local authorities and all the ACES Chambers and FSB. While we understand that the process of building a new road is a long one we were all in agreement that a new road will unlock huge potential for growth across East Sussex. We now look forward to the consultation and analysis of our business case from Parsons Brinckerhoff.”
Member since: 11th May 2016
Caroline is the the former MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, and this blog was one of her her regular updates.