Tag Archives: Highways England

Highways England and the C7 Lewes to Newhaven?

Is the government’s road building division constructing cycle paths?

Yes, it looks as though at last some sensible projects are coming out from this multibillion pound government department which is awash with money. Highways England have a series of ‘ring fenced’ funds designed to address a range of issues beyond the traditional focus of road investment including one for cycling and safety.

Over the last 4 years I have been trying to get ESCC to fund safety improvements for the C7 but as you will see from the background notes below the ESCC cuts have prevented the allocation of funds. However, I’ve been looking at alternative sources of funding and strangely enough there is a possibility of gaining significant funding from Highways England. They have ‘designated funds’ which are designed to provide landscaping, footpaths and cycle paths near trunk roads and motorways. In 2016 I attended a southeast regional Highways England workshop and asked them to allocate some of their designated funds to our local area. In 2017, I was contacted by Highways England who said they were looking at the possibility of providing a cycle route between Newhaven and Lewes. Of course, I suggested that such a provision could be made in conjunction with the safety and traffic calming proposals for the C7!  

Currently I understand there are internal negotiations going on in Highways England to select a few new cycle routes in this corner of the southeast. The C7 could be one of them. However HE requires the support of the County Council insofar as they would not object or obstruct a detailed engineering survey which is the forerunner to formal estimates being prepared for final approval. I have met with Nick Bennett, the Lead Member for Transport at the County Council, and I have asked him to ensure that his officers will not object to the preparation of these estimates and surveys.

Highways England has been allocated billions of pounds by the government to build motorways and dual carriageways. I’m hoping that a few crumbs will fall from the table to provide cycle and footpath provision near the A27 in our area in conjunction with their environmental fund. What happens next? I hope that Highways England will approve monies for our area and if you want to support this. Please contact them:

Highways England: Email: info@highwaysengland.co.uk

Or write to:
Highways England
National Traffic Operations Centre
3 Ridgeway
Quin­ton Business Park
Birmingham
B32 1AF

Background notes:

No joy from ESCC

For some time a number of us have been trying to improve safety along the C7 between Lewes and Newhaven.  Shortly after I was elected in 2015 I was optimistic having had feedback from the County Council.   They seemed to be cooperating and were happy to work with myself and other volunteers in Polo (parishes of the Lower Ouse) to assemble a list of low cost to higher cost improvements for the C7 road.

The work continued into 2016 but then we were told that the officers working on this project with us would no longer be able to help us as they had to prioritise urgent road safety improvements elsewhere in the county where there had been recent deaths.  No doubt this decision was associated with County Council cuts.

Unfortunately, as many of us would have seen in the press, the County Council announced severe cuts in their services earlier in 2018. They have announced a regression to core services, in other words this means those that are the minimum that they would legally need to provide. All this is very depressing.

POLO initiative for the C7

Personally, I was very upset when we heard that the ESCC couldn’t provide funds for the C7  but luckily a new volunteer had appeared on the scene, Joe Atwood, and he was prepared to develop a ‘Vision for the C7’ for safety and traffic calming. He produced an excellent document which has been circulated to the parishes and it has been adopted as a POLO initiative. He has potentially secured a grant for turning out more detailed design work, which is excellent.

A27 East of Lewes Dual Carriageway Study to go ahead!

 

Comment from Twitter:

A27 Road Consultation

a27-east-of-lewes-consultationHighways England are holding consultations until 8th  Dec 2016 on their proposals for changes to the A27 ‘East of Lewes scheme.’  It comprises a package of proposals with a budget of some £75 million. This is part of the Government’s 2015 – 2020 Road Investment Strategy.

 

 

 

The remaining exhibitions are being held locally: Sat 26th at Bewick and then Mon 28 & Tues 29 in Lewes:

consultations

CLICK HERE here to go to the brochure describing the proposals.highways-england-logo

You can respond to the questionnaire on line at:

https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/a27-east-of-lewes/consultation/intro/

As you probably know all the options for this section of the A27 are around carrying out modifications on an “in-line” basis. The work proposed relate to the section of the A27 between Middle Farm and Polegate. I’m in favour of the ‘in-line’ improvements and I am opposed to the idea of creating a dual carriageway across the open landscape between Beddingham & Polegate. At the moment, only the in-line proposals are on the table but I know that the local MPs are trying to persuade the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Transport to allocate over £400 million in the autumn statement (details will not be out for a few weeks/months) for a ‘motorway’ type dual carriageway road. There is no design proposal for this at the moment but we should be aware that the possibility of such a damaging development to the countryside could be approved by the government.

Walking & Cycling path: In the current proposals there is some good news for pedestrians, walkers and cyclists! An extension of the long distance cycle path ( C90) is proposed from where it finishes near Firle all the way to Polgate. Even if you don’t live in the area please would you write in and support this aspect of the proposal? If lots of people write in then there is a good chance the cycle/walking route will get built. If people don’t write in there is a good chance Highways England will drop it. Please remember it’s only an option at this stage.

 

Reduce environmental impact of the A27 Lewes by-pass ?

Landbridge_credit_natuurbrugzandpoort_838
Click image above to go to the ‘CPRE Better Not Bigger’ report

Which main roads need a green retrofit?  Highways England is supposed to be spending more than £500 million to reduce the  environmental impact of main roads but progress is painfully slow.

Have you got a suggestion for environmental improvement of our main roads like the A26 & A27? CLICK HERE and you can add them to the The Campaign for Better Transport proposals or write direct to Highways England info@highwaysengland.co.uk

For instance, I believe the Lewes area should get noise reduction barriers along the A27 Lewes By-pass. Highway England do install noise barriers – here is one of their recent reports: Design contract awarded for pioneering M40 noise barriers

A27 Road
A27 Lewes by-pass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is an example of a potential noise barrier fence: 

site-logo_356x111The Campaign for Better Transport has developed an interactive map to help the public identify areas where they think the money should be spent. On their website is a simple form where you can make suggestions for environmental improvements. Click on the image below to go to the web site and give your comments:

Map link