Time to speed up A21 campaign

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WE must campaign for A21 strategic upgrade

MP for Bexhill and Battle, and Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker went to the Hurst Green Safety Group with the confirming misery that the A21 Hurst Green bypass is off the Government Agenda for improvement. This continues to be an insulting nonsense.

Surely we in East Sussex have to stand up and campaign in every way possible to get the disgraceful record of deaths, injuries, economic drag removed once and for all with a properly engineered and programmed upgrade?

How on earth is Hurst Green to improve safety on that stretch of the A21?

The A21 is the responsibility of the Highways Agency, reporting to the Department for Transport.

This bureaucratic body is expensive and has proved over and over again that it cannot deliver projects to time or budget.

The section of single carriageway between the Tonbridge and Sevenoaks bypass, also a major accident blackspot, has been due for dualling for decades and in line with the Pembury hospital rebuild, long since completed.

Now Kent County Council, after careful analysis, says it can build this section for one half the projected £125 million cost.

We must press Greg Barker to lobby hard for East Sussex County Council to take over the balance of the A21 from Lamberhurst to Hastings to put real money into improvements – smoothed curves, better junctions, new lorry overtaking lanes and avoidance of local communities – a much safer and modern road.

The fact is that the South has had its cash “diverted” by the last Government and, bless them, had it invested in the North, North East and Scotland. Good for them. Now it is the time to get the cash investment into our own county and as part of the national rebuild from the recession.

Yes, a real priority to change the climate and reduce energy consumption in the endless road delays, accidents and personal damage.

Richard Tilden Smith

Church Cottages