Fears over potential new road between Lewes and Polegate to be discussed
Campaigners will discuss the future of the A27 between Lewes and Polegate at a virtual meeting this evening.
SCATE East Sussex fears proposals for a new dual carriageway, which would run through villages including Arlington, Berwick, Chalvington, Ripe, Selmeston, and Glynde, could be approved later this year.
The campaign group is calling for money to be spent on improvements to the existing A27 instead.
It says this is the only sustainable way forward.
Highways England, which is due to consider options to improve road travel between Lewes and Polegate later in 2021, has agreed to look at making further ‘online’ improvements to the existing A27.
The other three options it is considering all involve building a new four-lane highway between the towns.
Oliver Harwood, chairman of SCATE East Sussex, said: “Not only would any of the three offline routes being considered be disastrously expensive and environmentally catastrophic, but drivers would only save a couple of minutes.
“And road use is likely to change dramatically owing to COVID and the climate crisis.
“In our new reality, it makes far more sense to put the investment into further improvements to the existing A27 instead, as well as enhancing green initiatives like cycleways, footpaths, and better public transport options.”
The campaign group is calling on all candidates for local elections in May to declare their views on the topic.
Mr Harwood said: “We’re calling on all candidates for East Sussex County Council to say clearly where they stand on Highways England’s plans for a new hugely expensive dual carriageway with attendant bridges and overpasses cutting through the Low Weald.
“They have the option of supporting our Sustainable A27 Alternative instead.”
SCATE East Sussex has also been running a civil engineering design competition inviting proposals for how to best upgrade the existing road, in particularly regarding congestion easement between Southerham and Beddingham.
The contest closes April 12 and results will be announced this summer.
A virtual meeting is being hosted by the group tonight.
The event starts at 6pm and anyone can joing using this Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84582908465
Get in touch with the group by emailing [email protected]
Highways England has been approached for an update on plans for the road.