MP quits his top government job in row over A27

Stephen Lloyd MP SUS-140929-093332001
Stephen Lloyd MP SUS-140929-093332001

Last week’s Department of Transport announcement over the Eastbourne to Lewes section of the A27 has been attacked as “profoundly disappointing” by Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, who has quit his government post in protest.

The government announced last week it would pledge £75 million for the A27 east of Lewes as part of a £350 million package for the road but campaigners had hoped for more cash so a new road could be built between Cophall Roundabout and Beddingham to ease traffic congestion along the troubled stretch of road, which is an accident blackspot.

The government decision has angered Mr Lloyd who announced his resignation this week as Private Parliamentary Secretary to the Energy and Climate Change Secretary.

The MP said, “Considering the detailed work we had put in looking at the possibility of a new dualled or single road from the Cophall roundabout in Polegate to Beddingham, an option supported by the vast majority of local people, along with proposals around improvements to the current road, it was a shame none of them were supported by the transport department.”

“After all the work and cross-community effort by so many local residents and businesses in Eastbourne and Willingdon, I am profoundly disappointed by the proposal put forward by the Department of Transport. Instead, there is a vague promise for some time in the future. This isn’t jam tomorrow, but more like the possibility of jam sometime, if we’re lucky, in a few years.”

Mr Lloyd said it had been a privilege to be a PPS but he believed the government’s proposal to fix the problems of the “dreadful road” had been “utterly lamentable” and the town has been “let down”.

He said, “Ever since I was first elected in 2010 as MP I’ve always been clear I would put our town first, irrespective of party politics. In this instance I feel we have been ignored and I’m not prepared to quietly accept the transport department’s decision. Our fight for a better road will go on and I have every intention of continuing local cross-community efforts to improve what we all know to be an utterly dreadful and unsafe section of the A27.”