On road to better transport links in Hailsham

David White, Jo Bentley, Roy Galley, Bill Bentley
David White, Jo Bentley, Roy Galley, Bill Bentley

A group tasked with improving transport and infrastructure in Hailsham and Hellingly says it is pleased with the improvements carried out so far, but said more still needs to be done.

The MASHH Steering Group (Movement and Access Strategy for Hailsham and Hellingly) said further progress is urgently needed in ‘creating a comprehensive scheme of improvements’ for Hailsham town centre.

Some £2million worth of road improvements have already been delivered in the north of the town. The A271 has seen a new roundabout and signals at the Hawks Road Junction, a new roundabout at the junction with Battle Road is under construction and a widened layout at the London Road junction. The A22 Hempstead Lane junction has been improved and New Road has been realigned at Hellingly. The group said all the changes will improve traffic flows and highway safety.

Further improvements include an enhanced bus service linking new housing from Roebuck Park to Hailsham and Eastbourne costing £600,000, and major cycleway and pedestrian improvements along Battle Road, costing £250,000.

But despite more than £3 million of transport improvements delivered for Hailsham and Hellingly, the group said more investment is required. Cllr Jo Bentley, chairman of the Steering Group, said: “We are of course pleased to see these schemes are now being delivered, but what is desperately needed is a more comprehensive scheme of improvements for the town centre. We would urge the planners, developers and the Highways Authority at East Sussex County Council to get on with the consulting and delivering of solutions as soon as possible.”

Further developer contributions have been made or pledged through planning agreements to improve traffic flows, highway safety and Hailsham town centre to help meet the demands of the growth of the town.

The county council commissioned consultants to draw up designs for possible town centre schemes which the MASHH Steering Group will look at in November to seek views from businesses and partners before consulting with the public in 2014.

Cllr Roy Galley, Wealden’s portfolio holder for Economic Development, said: “What we have managed to deliver so far with the support of highways colleagues and the developers themselves is just the start of what we believe will be significant town centre improvements – to public safety, traffic circulation and the public realm of the High Street. It will be important we make best use of these resources and focus on the key transport priorities identified by the original MASHH studies. A crucial part of this is widespread consultation followed by early delivery.”