Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Productivity - My Sussex Local Article for October 2015

Economic argument for an Arundel Bypass is getting stronger. 
With all the talk about the UK's lagging productivity, France is 29% more productive than the UK, that's not because they work harder or longer hours, it's because France invested in roads, rail and airports whilst the UK engages in a hugely costly self absorbed debate discussing the rights and wrongs of any transport scheme, we waste endless hours and many millions of pounds towards Barristers, lobby groups and public inquiries whilst the rest of the world just gets on with it . 

Yes there needs to be a proper debate regarding our infrastructure but it needs to be time and cost limited, our civil service is part of the problem wrapping schemes up in rules and stifling technical requirements whilst the clock ticks.

I am in favour of HS2, not because we need a new high speed railway, but we need more capacity, incidentally, we should have chosen 180mph for HS2 (like the TGV in France) rather than 220mph which has increased cost and technical requirements.

Equally on Airports, we should have extra runways at Heathrow as well as Gatwick, at Heathrow the runway extension making two out of one made complete sense, Gatwick is the largest single runway airport in the world and desperately needs a second runway and Manston in Kent is an ideal extra airport for London, it has one of the best runways in the UK and already has a small terminal and it's only 16 miles from HS1 (Eurostar) but it's under threat to be redeveloped.

Locally, we need the A27 improvements and the Arundel By-pass, the closing of the A27 river bridge at Arundel impacts on our community and our local business surely this underpins the economic argument for our bypass. 

Our local rail needs improvement, the Arundel Chord which is a kilometer of new railway allowing Arun valley trains to turn left on to the coastal railway to Brighton and trains from Brighton to turn right to go up the Arun Valley line makes absolute economic sense, It would give resilience to all the south coast rail commuters giving an alternative route to London circumnavigating the Brighton line and Balcombe tunnel which has caused huge delays recently,

Until next month,

Paul Dendle is Arundel & Walberton ward and Cabinet Member for Leisure & Amenities on Arun District Council  email : Pauldendle@aol.com 

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