Link Road show draws hundreds to ask questions

22/11/13- Link Road exhibition at Crowhurst Village Hall.
22/11/13- Link Road exhibition at Crowhurst Village Hall.

HUNDREDS of people attended a trio of drop-in sessions held by East Sussex County Council to explain the progress of the controversial link road.

The local authority, which is behind the £100million plus road, invited locals to three sessions in Hastings, Sidley and Crowhurst.

And more than 200 people turned up to the exhibitions keen to find out how the project is coming along.

The council wanted to highlight archaeological and ecological work taking place on the road as well as discuss planned works. These include the forthcoming demolition and rebuilding of Ninfield Road bridge in Bexhill and the relocation of outbuildings at Adams Farm near Crowhurst.

The first section of the route – running from the junction with the A259 in Bexhill to Elva Way – edges near its completion date of spring next year and the entire scheme should be open by May 2015.

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council hailed the events a success. Talking ahead of Thursday’s session in Bexhill, they said: “We have had a good turnout at the exhibitions, with around 200 people attending the first two events in Hastings and Crowhurst.

“The exhibitions have been well received by those attending and offered us a good opportunity to speak to residents directly and update them on how work on the link road is progressing.

“It also gave us the chance to speak to those residents who do have concerns about the scheme and to discuss those concerns with them in greater detail.”

Just last week one of the chief opponents to the road encouraged locals to attend the meetings and voice their concerns.

Michael Bernard, of campaign group Bexhill Link Road Resistance (BLINKRR), is adamant there remain serious question marks over the scheme.

As spokesman for the group he has long-maintained the spiralling cost (an estimated £113million final bill compared to £24 million original estimate) far outweighs the economic benefit the road will stimulate.

He also claimed wildlife is being driven away by the works despite council reassurances that a string of ecological measures, such as providing alternative homes for badgers, bats, birds and newts whose habitats have been affected by the work, were being implemented.