MPs and local delegates make the case for A21 improvement
Huw Merriman and Amber Rudd took a delegation of 16 local representatives and stakeholders to Parliament to meet Roads Minister Jesse Norman MP last week.
The MPs requested this meeting to lobby for urgent improvements to the A21.
The local stakeholders were representatives from parish and town councils including Hurst Green, Whatlington, Battle, Ticehurst and Flimwell, East Sussex and Rother District Councillors, officers from Hastings and Rother District Councils, local schools and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.
Their concerns included speed and safety issues at Hurst Green CE Primary School and Vinehall School. Also raised were the junctions at Cripps Corner (A229) and the A265 in Hurst Green and Marley Lane in Battle, which are accident blackspots.
Accident rates in Whatlington and Westfield, which regularly close the road, were also highlighted.
Representatives from Rother District Council, East Sussex County Council, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and Hastings Borough Council impressed upon the Minister the importance of the A21 as a key strategic road for East Sussex. Improving the road is key to bringing economic growth, investment and regeneration to the area.
The councils and LEP confirmed they prioritised the A21 in their responses to the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) 2 consultation.
The Minister said Government would announce its objectives for RIS 2 this summer but specific projects for road investment would not be published until the middle of 2019. The Minister assured delegates he would be consulting with Highways England about more immediate road safety measures for the A21.
Following the meeting, Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle, said: “I am grateful to the Roads Minister for welcoming our delegation to Parliament to hear our concerns first-hand.
“It was very encouraging to hear that he understood the importance of the A21 to our constituencies and to the communities that live along it.
“Both Amber and I are very grateful to the local representatives who travelled to London to take part in the meeting, I believe that their personal contributions really helped to explain our concerns about the A21 and the need for improvements.
“Both Amber and I will continue to work with colleagues to ensure that the A21 remains a high priority for future government investment and to ensure that further safety measures are implemented as quickly as possible.”
Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye, said: “It was fantastic to meet with Jesse Norman and many of our local representatives from East Sussex to discuss the plans for the A21.
“I am pleased that so many of our local representatives took the time to come to London to meet with the Roads Minister. I am delighted that Jesse came to listen to the concerns of our constituencies and to gain an understanding of just how important it is for our residents to work towards improving the A21. I will continue working closely with Huw to ensure that we get the safest roads for our towns.”