Bexhill and Battle is connected to the rest of the country by two main trunk road – the A259 (linked to A27) and the A21. Both these roads are managed by National Highways and are almost entirely single carriageway throughout the constituency and the rest of East Sussex. East Sussex has only 11.9km of dual carriageway throughout the whole county. Major road infrastructure improvements are needed in our area if we are to create a safer road network and increase the flow of investment in jobs, businesses and housing in our community.
The A21 is one of the UK’s most dangerous roads. It is a key trunk road for the constituency linking us to the M25, London and airports. It is managed by National Highways. This key route needs more dualling to improve resilience and by-passes around the communities that still lie along its route. Villages along the A21 such as Hurst Green and Whatlington experience noise, congestion and accidents.
Whilst I welcome the extension of the dual-carriageway between Pembury and Tonbridge that opened in 2017, we now need the investment to be delivered along the whole length of the A21 through Bexhill and Battle and onto Hastings.
As a member of the A21 Reference Group of MPs and local council representatives, I will continue to work for major road improvements south of Tonbridge especially at key pinch points like Hurst Green.
As major road improvement projects can take a long time to deliver, I am also pressing National Highways to deliver an effective £18m package of safety improvements to make the A21 safer for all road users which can be implemented as soon as possible. I, and neighbouring MPs, successfully pressed for this package of investment to be brought forward. Read more at this link.
A dedicated website for the A21 Safety Package has been set up by National Highways. Progress reports and further information and can be found at this link https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-roads/south-east/a21-safety-package
In July 2022, I visited the village of Hurst Green to urge residents to get involved in the National Highways consultation on the safety package. My letter to residents can be read in the list of attachments below.
Further information can be found at the links to news articles on my website below.
I attended a meeting with local residents, councillors and National England to hear concerns about the increased traffic congestion on the A259 in Little Common. Traffic has increased by 20% during peak times since the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road was opened in December 2015.
Residents told me that traffic is often at a standstill on Barnhorn Road and the increased volume is affecting quality of life in the area. Housing developments have been approved that will adjoin the A259 in Little Common and residents are worried about the increased volume of cars accessing the trunk road and related safety issues.
Many residents would like to see the former Bexhill by-pass plans to be reconsidered to relieve traffic pressure on this area. I therefore wrote to key local partners and National Highways to establish whether a major by-pass road scheme could be re-considered, and whether the Housing Infrastructure Fund would be a possible source of funding.
The view from key partners was that Little Common would have to accept far higher housing numbers than currently proposed in the Local Plan in order to attract this road infrastructure funding. This is therefore a matter for our local councillors and residents to consider as part of a longer term plan for the area. For the immediate future, I will continue to press National Highways for measures that will improve the safety and traffic management of this road.
The A27 is a key route for the south coast and, as any regular commuter between Bexhill and Brighton will know, the section of road between Polegate and Lewes is congested, slow and prone to accidents. This is bad for the local economy and impacts on the lives of people who live and work in East Sussex. Funding for road improvements have been secured and construction is underway on measures to help ease congestion along this busy route.