It is disgraceful that local MPs are lobbying hard behind the scenes in support of a new dual carriageway north of the existing A27.
This scheme which would cost over £600 million, is set to ruin the ancient countryside to the East of Lewes, killing wildlife, increasing pollution particularly in the many downland villages, destroying woodlands, wiping out productive field systems and blighting the views from the South Downs. The only advantage claimed by the scheme’s supporters is that it will cut a few minutes off car journey times.
Even this dubious advantage is disputable as it would surely lead to increased delays at Southerham and Polegate which might actually increase the journey time from Eastbourne to Brighton.
A more sensible and politically acceptable option is to improve stretches of the existing highway, modifying junctions and adding another carriageway in the many places where this can easily be achieved.
Such a solution would be more cost effective, more acceptable to those living in downland villages and would give credence to the politicians’ claims to wanting a sustainable rural environment.
Professor Brian Hill