THIS is an open letter to our two MPs, Peter Bottomley and Tim Loughton.
Gentlemen, as you know, the consultation period for the proposed high-speed rail link from London to Birmingham, and, later, onwards, commenced on February 28.
The cost of this new railway is estimated at £32billion and it is claimed that it will reduce journey times between London and Birmingham by 20 minutes and bring economic benefits of £44billion, spread outwards from the capital.
On the radio, it explained in part how the percieved economic benefits were calculated, and it has to be said that, in part, at least, the calculations used were absolute nonsense and could have been claimed only by someone supporting the new link.
However, if that is the way government measures things, surely you, as our MPs, could use this to the advantage of Worthing residents.
Without doubt, journey times between anywhere east of Lancing and the main south ports at Portsmouth and Southampton would also be reduced by the same 20 minutes if we had a bypass, and while the cost would be measured in just tens of millions rather than billions of pounds, the economic benefits (using the same method of calculation) could surely be made to add up to billions of pounds.
Please reassure your voters and the people of Worthing that you will be voting against the proposed new rail link, and requesting a tiny portion of the saved money be used to build a long-awaited bypass round Worthing.
At the same time, please read the West Sussex Transport Plan 2011-2016 which scarily, on page 67, states that West Sussex County Council will be “working with the Highways Agency and other partners to deliver a package of major improvements to the A27 at Lancing and Worthing”.
The last time these two worked together on a major plan, we ended up with the disastrous Grove Lodge roundabout lights, which must be the biggest waste of public money in a long time.
As our MPs, you must ensure that we are better served.