HAVING been involved in campaigns on a variety of issues I fully appreciate the passion expressed by members of the Hastings Alliance and those outside in particular who will be affected by the construction and use of the Bexhill Link Road - and of Mr Tomisson.
No insult was given or intended.
Agreed the collection of information over any length of time for any campaign is very painstaking and time consuming.
While campaigners may insist that theirs is the only valid opinion, it does not mean that the campaign will succeed nor that it is automatically right.
What happens at least is that there is a much improved understanding of the issues.
Realistic common sense has arrived in the turning down of the Alliance’s application for a judicial review of the way the decisions have been made by the county council, a democratically elected body which is working for the interests and benefits of East Sussex.
What the Alliance has done - at its own cost - is to make the officers and elected members even more aware of the sensitivity of this road improvement project.
Now that it can proceed, the whole activity can be concentrated on bringing in the benefits accredited to the scheme - that is the raising of business confidence that East Sussex is determined to encourage growth and new investment.
So perhaps we can now press harder for the Queensway-A21/A28 junction to be sorted out at The Ridge, just north of Sainsbury’s, to get all the construction disruption done in one go.
It is time to move on. In my last letter I referred to the announcement of £4.2 billion (although this read as millions) being earmarked for national railway development and the fact that a minimal sum had been allocated to updating the increasingly antique Sussex Coast railway.
With the changes invited through the chronic franchise arrangements, there is a major opportunity to influence Chancellor Osborne to remember that even this old railway upgraded can be used to regenerate growth on the coastal developments by delivering a much improved service.
Notwithstanding the shock of the massive hike in fares just announced, if nothing else the new operators, along with Network Rail, must be pressed to invest in the new signalling and station facilities that encourage greater use of the South Coast railway - and especially the construction of the Willingdon chord to allow through services from Brighton to Ashford (for London and Channel Tunnel) and electrification throughout.
East Sussex has just not had its fair share of national funded investment. That must be changed. The way we get around the county has been archaic for far too long.
Richard Tilden Smith