Author Archives: ES SCATE

A27 East of Lewes Update

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.

Current situation: 

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.

Background listening:

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.

Background reading:

Click below for a summary of the current background information:

A27 East of Lewes Background info 2018-08-11

More information:

If you would like to know more about this development or believe you can help with our campaigns, please contact us

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook by clicking below:

https://twitter.com/SCATE_A27_A259 https://www.facebook.com/southcoastalliance/

 

Join the consultation on a new rail ticket system!

The Rail Delivery Group (made up of Train Operating Companies)  along with the rail passenger organisation, Transport Focus are asking for public comments on how to restructure and simplify train fares. The consultation is open and runs until 10 September 2018.

This is the first major review of how train fares are structured since the early 1990s. That’s before the Internet became widely used and before contactless payments were invented. The rail fare system is still based on a clunky magnetic ticketing system which is very difficult to modify and change.

Recommendations will be made to the government in the autumn following the consultation and SCATE hope that it will bring about a much fairer, more equitable and easier fare system. However the computer experts and ticket administrators sitting in their offices don’t necessarily have all the best ideas so this is our opportunity to tell them what we want. Please make your comments:

Click HERE to give your views

This consultation is not about the quality of service or lack of it, dealing with overcrowding or resolving the chaotic way in which the rail companies introduced timetable changes. Yes, all these things need to be dealt with but it is really important to take advantage of this consultation and make suggestions of how you would to improve the rail ticket system. Please do tell them what you think by clicking on the above link. Thanks!

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Clean Air Strategy Consultation – closes 14th Aug 2018

Following the latest legal challenge by the organisation ‘ClientEarth‘, the government has had to comply with a court order and publish an Air Quality Strategy Plan. The government is consulting on this plan NOW, – following which it will be finalised by October 2018. Click on the image to the right which will take you to the consultation and a questionnaire. The more people that comment the more the government will have to take this seriously.

Why not have a go and tell the government what you think should be done? Alternatively/or as well tell us of your views [Click Here] and we will include your comments in our submission to the consultation. Remember the  Clean Air Strategy Consultation – closes 14th Aug 2018

Sadly, the UK Government’s strategy contains very few new ideas as to how the government could get a grip on the problem but it does contain some very useful statistical information about the amount of air pollution and what types of chemicals are being pumped into the air.

This consultation is a golden opportunity for members of the public and campaigning organisations to suggest measures to reduce air pollution which could be included in the final draft. Obviously one measure which could be adopted by the Secretary of State for the Environment (Defra), Michael Gove,  could be the bringing forward of the banning of all petrol & diesel cars/vans before 2040.  Mayors of large cities in the UK have suggested perhaps 2030.

However there are other issues which the public will have the opportunity of raising with the government through this consultation. For instance reducing journey times for commuters by creating employment opportunities near new housing or making it much easier for motorists to transfer to rail services. Other measures could be, – building rail links instead of building motorway-style roads or investing in electric buses powered by solar energy (yes it is possible). Here is an example right here in Sussex where electric buses have been introduced:

The Big Lemon bus company in Brighton & Hove has fully electric, zero emissions vehicles powered by solar panels on the roof of the bus depot. See: https://thebiglemon.com/

 

Transport for the South East (TfSE) have published a draft strategy

A new sub-national transport body for the South East, Transport for the South East (TfSE), was launched in 2017. The chair is Cllr Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council. The vice-chair is Cllr Tony Page, the deputy leader of Reading Borough Council and representative of the Berkshire Local Transport Forum.

TfSE takes in Berkshire, Brighton and Hove, Kent, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Medway, Portsmouth, Southampton, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex.

TfSE together with the area’s 16 transport authorities and five local enterprise partnerships are to work directly with the Department for Transport and will involve other key stakeholders, including Highways England, Network Rail and transport operators and users.

They have been developing a Transport Strategy – click the image below to read the document.

 

TfSE said on their web site:

The South East in 2050: Our Strategy

At the heart of Transport for the South East is our evolving transport strategy for the region; a strategy to transform travel in ways which improve people’s lives and help the economy to grow.

Our strategy will take us to the year 2050. We know the South East, like the rest of the country, will be vastly different in 30 years’ time. The ways we travel, how we work, live, communicate, consume and spend our leisure time will all be radically different. The purpose of our strategy work is to anticipate and adapt to these changes. We can shape the future, with the right investment, technology and insight to guide us.

Our final strategy, the blueprint for transport in the South East, will be completed at the end of 2019. But work is already under way on its building blocks. The first of these is our Economic Connectivity Review. This is a study of how the South East’s economy works, how it connects to national and international markets and which are the key corridors of transport where investment will have the greatest effect.

The study is being conducted by consultants Steer Davies Gleave and has been published in draft for key partners and stakeholders to give us their views on this initial blueprint by 19 June 2018.

We’ll be consulting with partners, businesses and residents across the South East once we have drafted the final strategy for our region. This will guide the work of Transport for the South East from the moment it becomes a statutory body, expected to be by 2020.

 

A full house at Selmeston Village Hall as locals discuss concerns over plans for A27 dual carriageway road!

After recent confusion over proposed Government plans for the A27 extension between Lewes and Polegate, South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment (SCATE), the Folkington Estate and RH & RW Clutton presented to a ‘full house’ at Selmeston Village Hall on June 12th, to determine the truth and what could be done to influence the outcome of Highways England’s proposals.

SCATE suggest that members of the public write to their MP and to their councillors at Wealden and East Sussex councils, expressing their views whether for or against a new road through the countryside. Anyone who wants to be kept informed was advised to join SCATE (membership is free).

Click here to see links to the report of the meeting & presentations (at bottom of page)

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