Green leaders visit Bexhill to Hastings link road site

From BBC News:

Tree protester

Protesters took to trees on the route of the Bexhill to Hastings link road in December to try to stop them from being felled

Leaders of six environmental groups are visiting the site of the planned £94m Bexhill to Hastings link road, where activists have camped since December.

Key figures from the groups which include Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have said the road is unnecessary and should not have been approved.

Activists were evicted this month from two camps in Combe Haven Valley. About 20 have since set up a third one.

Councils and business leaders have said the road is vital to the local economy.

The other four groups sending staff to the site on Sunday were the Wildlife Trusts, Campaign for Better Transport, the RSPB and Campaign to Protect Rural England to see the area first-hand and meet protesters.

‘Discredited’ scheme

Andy Atkins, executive director of Friends of the Earth, said the road would cause more pollution, damage the environment and do little to boost the economy.

He said: “Reviving discredited road schemes like this won’t solve our economic and transport problems. It will simply shift traffic elsewhere.”

And John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: “If we’re to break our fossil fuel addiction and tackle the threat of climate change, we must stop throwing money at unnecessary road schemes like the Bexhill-Hastings link road.”

But East Sussex County Council leader Peter Jones has said the road will enable the building of up to 2,000 new homes, 50,000 square metres of business park space and will also lead to the creation of more than 3,000 jobs, as well as bringing economic benefits worth £1bn.

The authority also said the road will ease congestion and improve air quality on the A259 and has the backing of local people.

The new road will link the A259 and B2092, crossing Combe Haven Valley near a site of special scientific interest.

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