55.1 The Lead Member considered a report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport.
55.2 The Lead Member RESOLVED to:
(1) Note the proposals for the A22 corridor in Hailsham and Stone Cross to support the delivery of housing and employment growth in the Eastbourne/South Wealden area;
(2) Note the outcome of the stakeholder and public consultation held in summer 2021 on the proposals which will help shape the next design phase for these schemes;
(3) Approve the progression of the A22 corridor proposals to detailed design; and
(4) Approve the submission of an outline business case seeking £29.2m of Major Road Network funding to Government at the end of March 2022, and delegate authority to the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport, in consultation with the Chief Finance Officer, to agree the final content of the Outline Business Case.
55.3 As part of the Major Road Network (MRN), the A22 corridor performs a key function in supporting the economic connectivity of our county. With the existing and planned growth in the south Wealden and Eastbourne area at the southern end of the corridor, there is an identified need to ensure that the A22 continues to provide its existing functionality by supporting the additional housing coming forward in the area through the respective Local Plans for Eastbourne and Wealden as well as enabling access to existing and new jobs as well as leisure and shopping.
55.4 A package of improvements has been identified for five junctions on the A22 corridor in Hailsham and Stone Cross as necessary to support the planned and future growth in the south Wealden area. The proposed junction improvements were subject to a stakeholder and public consultation in summer 2021. Whilst there was a level of support for the proposals, there were some concerns raised in relation to the potential level of congestion at these junctions in the future, especially by introducing traffic signals at some to manage the traffic, and the impacts of construction. However, without these improvements traffic in the area would increasingly experience longer journey times, increased queuing and there would be a reduction in the network’s efficiency to accommodate the planned housing and employment development. The detailed comments made at the consultation will help to shape the development of the schemes.
55.5 The consultation analysis also highlighted the need to develop a further package of sustainable transport measures for the area over and above the walking, cycling and public transport improvements already included in the proposals. The further package of sustainable transport improvements are currently being developed in more detail and will be subject to local public consultation.
55.6 These junction improvements are part of the package of basic need transport infrastructure requirements identified in our Capital Strategy as necessary to support the delivery of growth allocated in Local Plans across the county, which would principally need to be funded by Development Contributions, including the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), and external funding sources.
55.7 As one of Transport for the South East’s 10 MRN priority schemes across their geography, £29.2m of MRN funding is being sought from Government for the A22 Corridor junction improvements through the development of an Outline Business Case, with a further 15% local contribution of £5.2m coming from development contributions. The Outline Business Case seeking MRN funding will be submitted to Government at the end of March 2022 and authority is delegated to the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport, in consultation with the Chief Finance Officer, to agree the final content of the business case.