I met with Patrick McLoughlin MP Secretary of State for Transport, this week as he came to the constituency to see for himself the difficult road and rail conditions that residents and businesses face on a daily basis.
During his visit to Sussex Mr McLoughlin visited Hastings and Eastbourne to discuss transport infrastructure before continuing to Polegate to specifically discuss the possible upgrading of the A27. Currently there is potential for a feasibility study looking at a number of options to upgrade the A27 which will be looked at during the summer with an announcement expected later this year.
The A27 is a big issue locally as it crosses most of the constituency from Falmer through to Polegate and the constant congestion is not only an inconvenience for local people but it also costs businesses too with an estimated loss of £2 billion a year to the Sussex economy. This is in addition to the poor safety record of the A27 which has seen numerous accidents and even deaths in recent years.”
As part of the visit, Mr McLoughlin drove from Polegate to Lewes along the A27 to experience first-hand what the journey can be like before catching the train from Lewes back to London.
As well as the A27 I wanted the Transport Secretary to see how slow the rail links are back to London from Lewes. Although we are close to London the train links are poor and one of the most common complaints I get are from residents who commute to London for work who complain how slow and congested their trains are. It was a great opportunity to say this is why we need the Brighton Mainline 2 scheme which will create more capacity on our rail network locally and speed up the journey to London. I am a big fan of the proposed re opening of the Lewes to Uckfield line and hopefully from his visit today the Transport Secretary will be looking closely at the results of the feasibility study that was commissioned by the Government last year.