Concreting the countryside

Letters
Letters

From: Clive Kent

Ghyll Road, Heathfield

Proponents of the completion of the dual carriageway between Lewes and Polegate would have us all believe that this is a solution to a local transport matter.

I would suggest that it is instead a small link in a much greater plan. Many decades ago, there was talk of creating a super-highway along the south coast, between Folkestone and Honiton. This grand scheme is no longer talked of, perhaps because the response would be a wave of coordinated opposition along the entire route.

Thus, we have instead a plethora of ‘ local solutions ‘ which eventually link up to become a long-distance dual carriageway. The Bexhill bypass and the Brighton bypass already form part of this, and there has long been talk of a bypass for Worthing.

Work is due to start on a bypass just to the south of Arundel, even though this will involve the destruction of fifteen acres of woodland.

Not only is there no open discussion concerning the creation of this south coast super highway, but many of us would query the huge sums of our money which are to be lavished on it: whereas the Government has allocated a total of about £220 million to filling potholes for the whole of England and Wales, up to £250 million is to be spent on the Arundel bypass alone!

Furthermore, even if the Government succeeds in desecrating our countryside by forcing through the Lewes to Polegate widening of the A27, any benefits will soon be negated. This is because , a few decades ago, Birds Eye decided to close their factory in Eastbourne because, they claimed, road access to the town was so poor. It therefore evidently follows that, if the dual carriageway is forced through, businesses will flood into Eastbourne, necessitating the creation of yet more factories and housing estates so that, after a few years, there will be just as much congestion on the A27 as there is now.

Furthermore, both halves of the Brexit argument indicate a reduced need for traffic from the Dover/Folkestone area, as the Brexiteers wish to move our economy away from Europe, whilst their opponents claim that Brexit will devastate the economy.

During two world wars, government propaganda encouraged our forefathers to go and fight for our verdant countryside. Now the sole wish of government seems to be to cover the countryside with concrete. It is time for the politicians to communicate with us as adults by actually acknowledging or denying their intention to create a south coast super highway. They should also be called to account for advocating the spending of such vast sums on this scheme whilst the rest of the road network has been so disgracefully neglected that it is a danger to both our vehicles and, indeed, our lives.