Our concerns seem more with semantics than the reality of life it now seems. We have seen complaints about “killer” roads and now “small” roads rather than “big” ones in recent Letters to the “Observer”.
It was a disappointment after Amber Rudd MP gave an update on transportation matters in the County that there were such mixed messages back from “Observer” readers. Especially difficult to understand was what exactly was Erica Barrett’s complaint - a bigger Bexhill Relief Road, reinstatement of Ashford-Hastings rail services? Fine - but the Ashford-Hastings line has been underinvested for years before the last election - and we have all seen over again the aggravation over invading Coombe Haven. So blaming the present elected Members is illogical and misplaced. And how much demand is there likely to be for a bigger A259? This is down to user demand, accident statistics - and electors.
It is quite clear that Amber Rudd, along with the other County Members of Parliament are pushing for new investment in roads and rail, as are both East Sussex and Kent County Councils. But there is still the enormous challenge to overcome with of having the UK massive deficit through over-borrowing. That impinges directly on new investment to underpin our future in a highly competitive world.
Deaths and injuries on the County’s roads, continuing aggravations with interrupted and poor rail services - these are the issues that must be balanced against having to support unemployed and disadvantaged and getting as many into employment as possible. Tax we may not like - and we are one of the heaviest oppressed nations for the least return - but the more that pay tax the greater the prospect of the wealth generation boosting our economy, into new roads and modernised railway and power stations. What is really needed is clear joined up thinking.
The fact is that we have to fight much, much harder to get the A21 London-Hastings route turned into an economy boosting road, the railway from Hastings to London and along the South Coast into efficient regenerators of commerce and industry that in turn bring new prosperity to these coastal counties. The Bexhill Link Road meets the A21 at Baldslow with a junction which is not yet but might soon be the connection. We have work to do pressing these improvements through the auspices of our elected MPs Amber Rudd and Greg Barker. The creaking door is beginning to open.
Richard Tilden Smith