St Leonards Queensway Gateway Road to get £2.5 million to help complete it

A long-delayed road building project is to receive £2.5 million from the Government to help in its completion, it has been announced.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) said it has allocated the money towards completing the Queensway Gateway Road, which it said will help to ‘unlock jobs, reduce congestion and ensure improved connectivity in the Bexhill-Hastings Growth Corridor’.

The Government made the announcement yesterday (Monday, March 25) and the money is part of a total of £40 million for East Sussex from the DLUHC towards a number of projects.

Cllr Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, said: “We are delighted that DLUHC has recognised the importance of this project and the need to complete the road.

“The completion of the Queensway Gateway Road is a top priority for the county council as we know the difference it will make for people living, working and visiting the Hastings and Rother area.”

The Queensway Gateway Road was originally slated for completion in November 2016 but since then has been beset by a series of delays at various stages.

In 2022, work was ongoing to design and approve a traffic-light controlled junction, which would complete the Queensway Gateway Road’s connection to the A21 in Sedlescombe Road North.

That section was expected to be completed in the autumn of that year but the project was delayed further, which Sea Change Sussex said was due to added information coming to light which caused its management team ‘serious concerns’ about the project’s funding.

The majority of the road was completed in March 2019 with only the final section, connecting it to Sedlescombe Road North, now remaining unfinished.

Last month at a county council meeting, Cllr Glazier said the ‘final costs’ of the road project remained unknown as he gave an update on the progress of the scheme

Cllr Glazier told the meeting that the county council was trying to ascertain the ‘final costs’ required to complete the project and was also exploring what sources of funding were available to do so.

The council leader had been responding to a question from Bernard Brown, a long-time campaigner on the issue.

The project’s first business case, in January 2015, put its costs at £15m.

Subsequently, Sea Change, through East Sussex County Council, was awarded £10m of Local Growth Fund (LGF) money to go towards these costs. This money was awarded by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).