Clear analysis of the need for a better A27
We have considered carefully future growth identified in Local Authority Plans and the South East Local Enterprise
Partnership’s Strategic Economic Plan and these show that the current A27 does not have the capacity to handle the growth planned for East Sussex.
In the Polegate / Hailsham area alone there are 10,000 homes planned and 4,400 jobs which will put additional pressure on buses, rail and the A27. In addition to the early delivery of these homes and jobs, it is also important to remember that there are development pressures elsewhere along the East Sussex coastal strip which will generate demand for local and
strategic trips along the A27 corridor. For example, in the Bexhill/Hastings growth corridor there are plans for 6,500 homes and 160,000sqm of employment space – whilst this area will look to the A21 for journeys to London, Kent and the M25, the A27 corridor provides an important route West and to a potentially expanding Gatwick.
Similarly in Lewes District 3,000 new homes are planned in the Newhaven, Peacehaven, Telscombe and Seaford area as well as 167,200sqm of employment space from the proposed Newhaven Enterprise Zone – some traffic from this growth will
migrate towards Brighton via the A259 but much will want to access the A27 via the A26. In addition, in the Ringmer area there are plans for over 1,100 new homes by 2030 and these developments will all add pressure to the A27 between Lewes and Polegate.
We need to improve connectivity to the A23, M23, M25 and a potentially expanding Gatwick Airport and we need to cater for long distance strategic traffic. Businesses need journey times to be reliable but the existing A27 is not resilient to incidents on the network. An accident, break down or flooding can create significant delays resulting in the transfer of traffic onto the county road network, via Laughton and Ringmer, onto the country roads through the National Park or along the A259
between Eastbourne and Newhaven.
The 2013 traffic figures for the A27/A22 Cophall Roundabout show almost 29,000 vehicle movements daily from Monday to Friday. These figures are not far short of the dualled Lewes By-Pass which carries 35,680 vehicles per day and are the sort of figures at which the Highways Agency would consider dualling a road.
£30 Million - Sustainable Investment
In addition, investment of around £3m is planned for Uckfield to improving walking, cycling and bus access into the town centre and about £1.5m for Hailsham for walking, cycling and bus access schemes too. While it would be great if this could solve the need for car travel, the car is with us in one form or another for some time to come and we need to plan for it rather than wish it away.
So, in contrast to Mr Coffee's assertions, plenty of analysis has been done to improve integrated travel across East Sussex
including cycling, walking, buses and vehicles on the A27. Journeys types vary and so there is not one answer to the County’s transport needs. Expecting bus and train improvements to solve our transport needs is unrealistic and while much is being done to improve public transport, and more still needs to be done, we have put off the development of the A27 for far too long and need to include this vital road in our plans as a matter of urgency.
If you would like to complete the ACES Survey about the A27 scroll to the blue button at the top of this blog page.
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