A recent meeting of Parish representatives from east of Lewes to Folkington has welcomed the £75 million nominally allocated by the Government for improvements to this section of the A27. However, the representatives have resoundingly rejected the idea of a major bypass or new road from Lewes to Polegate. Instead they want to see the money used to improve road safety along the existing alignment, with improved local access at junctions, as soon as possible. They want the focus to be on improving traffic flow, but not increasing traffic speed.
In particular, the meeting supported the following measures:
- Junction improvements all along the route, with improvements particularly needed at Wilmington and Selmeston
- A safer crossing between the Firle and Glynde junctions for pedestrians and cyclists
- A Selmeston bypass behind the Barley Mow
- A single speed limit along this stretch of road and related measures
In contrast, there was no support for the Folkington Link.
All of these measures would make a marked improvement to safety and access along the route and could be implemented quite quickly, in comparison to a major new road. While a Selmeston bypass behind the Barley Mow would intrude into the South Downs National Park, this might be acceptable if done sensitively.
Overall, this approach by the Parishes seems sensible and pragmatic, and if implemented would lead to real improvements without causing the widespread damage and destruction of new road building.