Jackie Hooper is right to complain about the appalling state of the A27.
What should be a pleasant drive through the South Downs is a disgusting trip through a corridor of litter and other detritus. East Sussex County Council will simply pass the buck and tell Ms Hooper that responsibility for roadside cleansing of the A27 lies with the district and borough council – ie, Lewes and Wealden – not with East Sussex Highways.
When I complained to the chief executive at County Hall the response was cold and official – “nothing to do with us”.
I wrote back asking where was the passion and vision for the county and its reputation? No reply.
The response to a complaint to Lewes District Council was largely a justification for no action, on health and safety grounds. I pointed out that many sections of the A27 were perfectly safe to litter pick if there is the will, including wide verges, footpaths, lay-bys and from behind crash barriers.
I offered to identify these locations but I heard nothing further. And what about lane closures at non-peak times?
Perhaps the idiots who throw rubbish from their cars will realise their snail’s pace journey is down to their selfish behaviour.
Finally in my rogues gallery of officialdom, an approach to the South Down National Park last year was met with the dispassionate response that “they will talk to Highways”.
From none of these bodies have I sensed there was any disgust or anger at the problem or a vision of how beautiful the county can be.
I have concluded those who run our county and district councils in East Sussex and happily collect our taxes don’t give a damn at the appalling blight on our environment from roadside litter which makes us look like a third world country.
Neither do they think residents deserve a clean environment and value for the taxes they pay.
Finally what foreign tourists think will hardly engender affection for East Sussex.