Why the A27 needs to be dualled along its full length

editorial image

I note from your article that the Polegate and Lewes MP, Maria Caulfield, Conservative, has spoken out against plans for a new offline dual carriageway between Lewes and Polegate, saying she now believes the existing A27 should be improved with dualling where possible.

That, Mr Liam Russell,Chairman of the South Coast Alliance for Transport and Environment (SCATE)has said: “We are calling for a rethink with improved rail and bus services as well as some dualling and modest improvements to the existing road, including the junctions at both ends, which we are sure will be a better solution than spending many hundreds of millions on a new dual carriageway through a treasured landscape.”

I somewhat wonder how they expect people to go by rail or bus to hospital whether ‘Walking’ patient, ‘Emergency’ patient or relative, when such services do not reach, and are not 24/7! Had the existing hospital at Brighton been rebuilt at Falmer, as some had suggested, then this could have been achieved for some staff, patients and relatives by using the railway!

Buses stop at midnight at Eastbourne District General and I believe around 10pm at Conquest Hospital, which although it is treated as the Major Trauma Unit of the two hospitals, is further afield to its railway than Eastbourne, and more rural, hence the bus service! Therefore with all hospitals in this area the majority of staff use vehicles, whether own or shared, and buses need roads too!

Emergency patients from Eastbourne and Conquest Hospitals whom require open cardiac, brain surgery, major arterial and renal transplant, major trauma and major burns are transferred.

Brighton has the nearest facilities for open cardiac, major arterial and brain surgery, and when necessary, due post op, bed shortages on Intensive Care or theatre access, Southampton, London and Chelmsford, are known to be used, and further afield also!

When brain surgery was located at Haywards Heath for this area, the A22 was accessed.

However it was centralised to Brighton, and therefore the A27 has to be used, if not further afield.

We do not have sufficient air ambulances serving Sussex/Surrey/Kent, and drones have yet to be built or established as a means of safe transfer. Therefore the majority of emergency patients have to go by road, and some patients cannot be transferred by air due their medical circumstances.

Our MP for Lewes and Polegate has trained as a nurse, though she worked specialising in cancer patients, I understand, and therefore most likely has never needed to transfer a critical patient whether by road or air by ambulance, as her patients were likely treated clinic or ward based, and therefore is most unlikely to have been in the back of an emergency vehicle trying to safely transfer a critical patient, where the traffic is dense, unable to move out of the way, due the structure of our county’s very poor road system, and within the “Golden Hour”!

Well, I have been involved in transferring patients in the emergency situation, as have my colleagues in my career pathway (and also I have in the voluntary sector, transferred patients.)

This current road needs to be dualled its full length, and in addition a new road built, and equally it dualled, to allow the increased volumes of traffic now and in future years!

The Ambulance “Hub” is based at Polegate, allowing for easier dispatch and re-stock of disposable equipment for the ambulances for our area.

The idea of dualling the A27 in certain areas will just add to more queuing to traffic as vehicles will need to filter back in to the inner lane.

As for the environmental aspect, by the time East Sussex County Council/Wealden, and current Conservative Government act upon the completion of a new road, the vehicles using it will most likely be dual-fuelled, semi-electric, or fully electric, and therefore pollution from fumes and noise will be greatly reduced. As for viewing the traffic, planning a natural or artificial screening can be added.

A “Blot on the Landscape”?, – well the environmentalists allowed the wind farm, near Hankham/Polegate, over the application of a solar farm, which would have been more “friendly”, as low lying, less seen at distance, and farm animals - such as sheep, kept in same field. Whereas wind farms they can’t due to the noise of the blades and shadows cast, and in addition houses built need to be a certain distance to prevent sound travel, where solar they don’t! I have a diploma in occupational health & safety, which I completed (in my own time,) with East Sussex College/TUC Newhaven campus and awarded December 2018, so I am viewing this road from various angles.

I was born, mainly worked (except just under six months -10/89-3/90 Abergavenny Nevill Hall Hospital) and lived in East Sussex and within this area.

However delaying will continue the problem, and if adding further roadworks to the current road, slow or halt traffic more often!

More likely, our MP and those of SCATE, are hoping another Government is voted-in, so they take the blame instead, and as Maria Caulfield MP is Lewes/Brighton based, her side of the dualing is complete.

Clive A Baldwin

Aberdale Road,

Polegate