HC Deb 18 July 1994 vol 247 cc72-3W
Mrs. Lait

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about improvements to the A259 between Hastings and Dymchurch.

Mr. Key

There are a number of schemes in the road programme for comprehensively improving the whole of the south coast trunk route including the section of the A259 between Hastings and Dymchurch. The schemes are at various stages of development.

A public consultation was held last year for the A259 Guestling Thorn and Icklesham bypass but this proved inconclusive. No clear view emerged on the best scheme to take forward in this unique landscape. However, the Government remain committed to improving the A27/A259 route and we must look for a solution for this length. We have therefore decided to hold a scheme planning conference. Although we are still looking in some detail at the lessons from the recent trials at Hereford and Bodmin, we are sufficiently confident in the outcome there to believe that a conference will help at Guestling Thorn and Icklesham. To avoid limiting options, the conference will cover the area from Guestling Thorn and Winchelsea to east of Rye. The necessary arrangements will now be put in hand and a detailed announcement will be made in due course.

Draft proposals have been published for three schemes for the improvement of the A259 between New Romney and Dymchurch and a public inquiry will be held to consider the proposals and objections to them later this year. We also have plans for bypasses of Bexhill and Hastings. Following public consultation, a preferred route for the Bexhill and Hastings western bypass was announced in December 1990 and for the Hastings eastern bypass in June 1991. Detailed design work is under way, with a view to publishing draft statutory orders for these schemes later this year.