ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS have this week slammed transport secretary Alistair Darling's decision to give the go ahead for the controversial £47M Bexhill to Hastings link road in West Sussex.
Approval for the scheme came as part of a £1.6bn funding package for local authorities for 2005/06 (see box).
But environmental transport lobby group Transport 2000 said the scheme will damage an area of natural beauty in the Combe Valley and will not achieve its economic purpose.
East Sussex County Council sees the scheme as a stimulus for inward investment. The road will connect with a proposed housing development and local business park and open up transport links.
'But the problem for the area is not local circulation - it needs better connections outside the region, ' said traffic and development consultant Alan Wendan Smith. He has carried out an economic study of the project for local green groups including Transport 2000.
His study concludes that a package of integrated traffic development measures, from traffic calming and bus priority schemes to new railway stations and services, would be much better for the town's future development.