A decision is due soon as to whether a multi-million pound package of transport improvements on the A22 Corridor can move to the next stage of its development.
The proposed A22 Major Road Network Outline Business Case is seeking a £46.5 million package which includes improvements to roundabouts and junctions along the road, toucan crossing facilities, a new roundabout at the A22/Hempstead Lane junction, bus priority measures and better access to the Cuckoo Trail.
Wealden District Council has committed more than £4 million towards the project alongside a further £2 million, which has also been earmarked towards a package of improvements to the Ersham Road roundabout
Subject to the approval, the scheme will move to the detailed design and Full Business Case stage of development.
The finer details are set out within the Business Case that was submitted to the Department for Transport in December last year by East Sussex County Council in partnership with Wealden District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council.
The A22 is an important transport corridor for all road users but is regarded as being of an inconsistent standard. The proposed package of improvements directly addresses the existing overcapacity junctions, improving journey time reliability on the A22 Corridor for local and longer distance journeys for all modes to and from the south Wealden and Eastbourne area.
The proposals will also help the delivery of significant planned housing growth in the south Wealden and Eastbourne area, support the local economy, ease congestion and provide enhanced sustainable transport provision for buses, walking and cycling.
The portfolio of measures proposed for the A22 Corridor will help to address the current restricted business growth and inward investment in a low productivity area, and specifically help alleviate the real current problems with traffic congestion, safety and network reliability.
Specifics of the proposals include improvements to the A22/A267/A271 Boship Roundabout including toucan crossing facilities and bus priority measures; A22/A295 Eagles Roundabout including toucan crossing facilities between the roundabout and Arlington Road to aid east-west connectivity; A27/A22 Golden Jubilee roundabout; A22/B2247 Dittons Road junction: replacing the existing roundabout with a signalised crossroads including toucan crossing facilities and cycling and walking schemes from Polegate – Pevensey and Dittons Road – Willington Drove; better access to the Cuckoo Trail in Hailsham; a Core Walking Zone in Hailsham and finally, a new roundabout at A22/Hempstead Lane including toucan crossing facilities and a cycling and walking scheme along Hempstead Lane.
Leader of Wealden District Council Councillor Ann Newton said, “This could be such exciting news for Wealden and we are hoping for a decision in favour of the bid.
“Importantly, it provides the county council and Wealden District Council with the greatest flexibility in accommodating future housing and economic growth in South Wealden as Wealden progresses its updated Local Plan over the coming months.
“The A22 Corridor Package also incorporates enhanced facilities for pedestrians and cyclists for all journey purposes, whether that be a trip from western Hailsham to the town centre, longer cycle rides via the Cuckoo Trail or walks using the Wealdway.”