SO THE Link Road build is progressing well - despite Andrea Needham’s fronting of the much publicised rain dance (which if indeed it worked and was responsible, it seems to have drowned most of the rest of Britain, thank you) – and once built will be a haven of a pothole-less world for some time, as well as making life so much easier to travel, away from the chronic jams of the A259 and the grind through Sidley and Catsfield.
But the complaints of the anti-roads brigade grate on. So it will be interesting to see if the Government does privatise the Highways Agency at last so that it will become responsive and up to reconsidering its lack of roads investment. There are some massive lorries potentially on their way from Europe – up to 60 tonnes and 82 feet long each. Two of those let loose in convoy on the Sussex section of the A21 will effectively close the road and very rapidly will break up the newly laid asphalt surface. So we should press for a much improved A21 instead?
If we are to get anywhere in East Sussex we have to attract new business and new housing. Complaining that building makes a mess, takes up space, adds to the traffic is like spitting in the wind – we have far too many without jobs and without housing, and that is hardly showing us to be a compassionate society. Just plain selfish. We must get major new investment funding - or it will just go anywhere else.
And getting on with the job of developing the coastal strip also enables us to pile the pressure on Southeastern trains – how can they possibly stagger to a satisfaction rate of just 38 per cent according to ‘Which’ survey! - and suggests that the MPs of the Select Committee are absolutely right to question whether that company should have a four year extension to create an almost endless misery. Southeastern are so unusual in that they just do not care about their main income - passengers and the boys and girls that actually make the trains run. When all the other train companies have emergency plans and call in bus alternatives, Southeastern just did not. Must have been using all their resources in the removal of the particularly tough skin from a rice pudding at the time.
The reality is that the pressure must be to get better infrastructure into the county, roads and rail, with proper funding. All those in favour, press harder on MPs and councillors for more investment. All the rest, well, they will complain, and complain, and we will keep hearing the rattle and din – noise of all that rain falling, no doubt.
Richard Tilden Smith