8 February 2013: An emergency petition is launched as the DfT admits it hasn’t yet approved its share of funding for the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road.
The Hastings Alliance has launched a new petition calling for the Government to stop funding the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road through the Combe Haven Valley.
On 31 January, the Department for Transport answered one of my Freedom of Information requests with a table showing the current status of the remaining transport projects in its ‘Development Pool’ of local authority schemes (download the table here as a pdf). This revealed that, far from being completely signed off, as East Sussex Council had claimed, the council’s business case had yet to be approved by the DfT, leaving the road still at the stage of funding known as 'programme entry'.
Regardless of having no confirmed government funds, council contractors started work felling trees in the Combe Haven valley in December, and pressed on with this work throughout January, while protestors defended and occupied the trees throughout the month. On 27th January, leaders of six national environment groups also visited the last protest camp at Decoy Pond and called for the work to stop.
In response to finding there was a chance the road could be stopped at the final funding hurdle, Derrick Coffee from the Hastings Alliance has set up a petition on the government’s epetitions site calling for the incredibly damaging and expensive road to be cancelled.
>> Sign the petition here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/45254
Please share this link widely – we don’t know how much time is left before the DfT will make its decision. The document the department released says it expects to make the decision sometime in February, so there may only be days remaining before this chance to stop the road is closed off!
A detailed report from the Argus, in which the DfT confirms it has yet to finally decide whether to fund the road and says “work carried out before approval would be at the council’s ‘own risk’": http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/10204708.Roadworks_continue_despite_lack_of_funds/