Green groups unite in Link Road condemnation

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SENIOR members of major environment and conservation groups visited Combe Haven valley on Sunday to see for themselves the possible impact of the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road.

Represented were Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, The Wildlife Trusts, Campaign for Better Transport, RSPB, and Campaign to Protect Rural England.

They looked at work already done by East Sussex County Council contractors and also met with protesters who have staged a series of peaceful protests in Crowhurst.

Andy Atkins of Friends of The Earth said the road should not have been approved and added: “It will lead to more pollution, damage the environment and do little to boost the local economy.

“Reviving discredited road schemes like this won’t solve our economic and transport problems – it will simply shift traffic elsewhere.

“Transport policy must change direction – we need cleaner cars and safe, efficient and affordable alternatives.”

Greenpeace UK’s John Sauven said: “If we’re to break our fossil fuel addiction and tackle the threat of climate change, we must stop throwing money at unnecessary road schemes like the Bexhill -Hastings Link Road.

“Even the Government’s own advisors see the road as a massive waste of taxpayers’ money.

“We should instead be protecting our natural environment and investing in long term jobs for local communities.”

Ralph Smyth, Senior Transport Campaigner, CPRE said: “Once treasured landscapes like Combe Haven are bulldozed, they are gone for ever.

“We should be protecting oases of tranquility not covering them in tarmac and traffic.

“How can the Government still be propping up this road scheme to the tune of millions of pounds, when even their own advisors have seen straight through the County’s elusive claims of economic benefits?”

Stephen Joseph of Campaign for Better Transport, said: “National and local Government is planning to spend more than £30bn on 190 major road schemes.

“The lesson that new roads don’t solve transport problems has been well and truly forgotten.

“Our Roads to Nowhere campaign will be supporting local people fighting all the costly and unnecessary schemes.”