We concerned about the effect which a major new dual carriageway will have on the National Park, east of Lewes. These new proposals are being put forward, even before the agreed safety improvements to the existing A27 have been implemented.
New road proposals have emerged from a group of MPs in East Sussex. If this new motorway-style road was built (an ‘offline’ route from Beddingham roundabout to Polegate) it would destroy a swathe of countryside and massively increase air and noise pollution. The proposed road would be highly visible for many miles along the South Downs Way and from Mount Caburn in the National Park. With faster speeds and more traffic, air and noise pollution would also increase, which would negate the claimed benefits from moving traffic away from the National Park. Also it would be unlikely to improve overall travel time as no changes are proposed to the two roundabouts at either end of the Lewes by-pass. Here congestion is already a major issue and likely to be exacerbated by attracting more traffic onto the A27 which the major new dual carriageway would undoubtedly do.
We are now waiting to see what Highways England propose to the Department for Transport. We are told that proposals will be made this summer.
SCATE’s larger members including CPRE, Sussex Wildlife Trust and The Friends of the South Downs (South Downs Society) are working with other groups in Sussex to prepare for the next stage of engagement.
After recent confusion over proposed government plans a public meeting was held at Selmeston village hall on June 12th. This meeting was extremely well attended with some residents having to stand at the back of the hall and others having to listen in from outside the open doors. Also a meeting (on 13th July) has been held with parish representatives to update them on what is known. This meeting is being followed up in September at which it is hoped that Maria Caulfield MP along with Wealden & Eastbourne MPs will be present to meet the representatives of the affected parishes. CPRE have been invited to attend as well. This meeting is being organised by SSALC.
On the 1st August, Derrick Coffee (Campaign for Better Transport East Sussex) and David Johnson (Chair, CPRE Sussex) presented the SCATE report ‘A New Transport Vision for the Sussex Coast’ to Stephen Lloyd, MP for Eastbourne. The MP said he was keen to see an ‘evidence led’ approach to traffic issues and to see politicians and community groups coming together at a wider, ‘round table’ event to build on the report’s recommendations later in the year.
SCATE believes that Highways England will make a recommendation to the Department of Transport during the summer. We would like to see this report published for all to see. We believe there has been too much secrecy surrounding the development of the proposed dual carriageway.
Many will have read the press reports of the packed residents meeting held back in June 2018. At the time BBC Radio Sussex interviewed with Oliver Harwood, a charter surveyor from RH & RW Clutton. The interview is about 5 minutes long but it will give you a good background to the A27 East of Lewes.
Click below for a summary of the current background information:
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