Wednesday, 19 September 2018

No maps for voters

East Sussex County Council, like Highways England, don't think we - residents, voters, ordinary people - should take part in the real planning of new roads. They're spending £3m of Government money, with the approval of the Transport Secretary, on 'proving' that a new dual carriageway section of the A27, running east of Lewes towards Polegate, is a good idea.

All previous studies have shown that such a road is poor value for money, low in saving journey time, and would have a large detrimental effect on both the landscape and bio-diversity. They take comfort from an online survey in which less than 300 people said a new dual carriageway would be a good idea - that, remember is 300 people who haven't seen any real plans.

Now, in the marvellous chicken-and-egg world of Conservative politics, they're trying to demonstrate that the 'demand' for new houses in Greater Eastbourne and along the A22 will make the road inevitable. Nonsense. Conservative councillors love builders; their company, their money, their political support. If they loved jobs and public service a little more, they could perhaps define the new jobs where all these new home-owners will be travelling to and from, then we could work out where we need houses and roads.

So, in response to my latest Freedom of Information request, we have redacted minutes from the self-selecting A27 Reference Group, meeting at the heart of the community (Portcullis House, Westminster) trying to railroad this dual carriageway through the system, and refusing to share any maps.

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