£50,000 for investigation into improving the A259

Exceat Bridge, on the A259 at Seaford (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Exceat Bridge, on the A259 at Seaford (Photo by Jon Rigby)

£50,000 has been earmarked by Lewes council to investigate how to tackle congestion bottlenecks on the A259, it has been announced today (February 26).

The district council says it is committed to improving traffic flow along the coast road – which received a boost recently when the A259 between Chichester and Eastbourne was recognised as a “major route” by the government and Transport for the South East.

Councillor Andy Smith

Councillor Andy Smith

Speaking at a meeting of the full council last night (February 25), Councillor Andy Smith, leader of Lewes District Council, said: “Alongside our partners we lobbied tirelessly to ensure major route status for the A259 was confirmed.

“It represents a game-changing breakthrough and an opportunity we must grasp with both hands.

“We can now have a truly strategic debate into long-term solutions to the gridlock that plagues the A259 every day and most crucially of all, we can now bid for money from a £3.5 billion government fund to make the changes we need.”

The £50,000 budget proposal is in addition to monies already agreed by Lewes District Council and East Sussex County Council to fund an economic impact survey into the broader commercial effects the road is having on the area.

Councillor Smith said: “I’m going to be speaking to colleagues on partner organisations about match-funding the £50,000 that we have put forward and I’m very hopeful they will be supportive.

“There are positives to point to, such as the £300,000 being spent on junction improvements in Peacehaven, but that’s just one small piece of a much larger jigsaw.

“We have to put every possible solution to the problems associated with the A259 on the table, however unpalatable, and carefully examine each one.”