Improving A22 gets priority in £46m funding

A22 Polegate junction
A22 Polegate junction

Projects to improve the A22 and provide walking and cycling schemes in the Polegate and Willingdon area have been given priority as part of a £46million Government funding boost.

The ‘Growth Deal’ money was awarded to the South East Local Partnership, which includes East Sussex County Council, to deliver its seven-year plan to generate 200,000 private sector jobs, 100,000 new homes and transform the transport infrastructure across the south east.

Included in the four East Sussex projects prioritised for the first year is a package of measures along the A22 and A2270 to enable an express bus service from Hailsham to Polegate rail station and Eastbourne.

Also given prominence is improved accessibility and connectivity within the A22 (Eastbourne/South Wealden) Growth Corridor.

Inter-related with A22/A27 junction improvements, this is identified as critical to the delivery of up to 10,000 new homes and 80,000sqm in the area.

Preliminary designs are currently being developed with consultation planned in late 2014.

Also included is the Eastbourne & South Wealden Walking & Cycling Package.

This is a package of walking and cycling schemes identified through the Eastbourne Cycle Strategy.

An ongoing study identifying improvements in the Polegate, Willingdon and Stone Cross area is required to support the local housing and employment growth in the A22 Growth Corridor.

Initially £17million will be invested in East Sussex during 2015/16 for projects to improve the local transport network.

This will be followed by a further £19million for transport improvements including the A22/A27 junction.

“Today’s announcement of a Growth Deal between the Government and SE LEP demonstrates Ministers’ confidence in our plans and reinforces our own ambitions for both East Sussex and the whole South East region,” said Cllr Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, on Monday.

“The Growth Deal will provide a genuine boost to our economy and our local delivery partnerships, driven by businesses, local councils, our universities and other key partners, will ensure maximum impact and value for money.”

The other schemes given priority in the deal in East Sussex are the North Bexhill Access Road and improved flood defences at Newhaven.

Peter Jones, Chairman of SE LEP, commented: “This initial funding is tremendously good news for our businesses and residents – addressing years of under-investment in the south east’s transport network.

“It’s not only a matter of improving connectivity around the area but providing links which open up major new sites for housing and business development.”

The Government is establishing Growth Deals with each of the 39 LEPs in England, funded from the national Local Growth Fund. Funding will be available in April 2015.