A27 funding: New road is still a possibility

A27 Lewis to Polegate road near Drusillas. January 22nd 2014 E03206Q SUS-141027-104541001
A27 Lewis to Polegate road near Drusillas. January 22nd 2014 E03206Q SUS-141027-104541001

With the announcement of a £75m investment into the A27 from Polegate to Lewes, what is next for the notoriously troublesome road.

Caroline Ansell, Conservative candidate for Eastbourne, said things are still simmering away in the background.

There had been concerns about whether the money had been ring-fenced, whether it was dependant on Gatwick getting a second runway, and whether it will be affected by the general election.

“I can offer reassurance around all the questions,” said Mrs Ansell, who responded to those who had been disappointed by the announcement by the government. “Actually this is a win and we’ve got a plan.”

She said the next step is to get interested parties around a table to discuss the options, ahead of a public consultation.

“We still have options on the table,” said Mrs Ansell. “My objective is still for this Eastbourne expressway. We have got £75m but it does not limit how we move forward, there is still potential for the new road.”

Mrs Ansell said she would like to see a single carriageway separate from the current road, to run from Polegate to Lewes.

The £75m isn’t enough for a new road, Mrs Ansell said it could cost up to £290m, but she said there will be a second round of funding in five years’ time, when she hopes the rest of the cash would be secured.

“One of the reasons we did not get the money for the road is the business case did not come through strongly enough,” she said.

The next step, she said, is making the case for the road, and get a general consensus on how the road can be improved.

“This is the first step on that ladder, and now we’re climbing,” she said.