Press release

Seachangewatch [1]

10 April 2018

Photo: QGR under construction

Contact 07565 967 250

Queensway Gateway road now rated high risk in three separate categories

‘Negative reputation will continue longer term and be hard to recover from’, documents show

The Queensway Gateway road (QGR) is now considered high risk in three separate categories, according to a recent document from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP). The document also states that the project’s negative reputation will continue longer term and be hard to recover from.

The Deliverability and Risk Assessment document [2], presented to SELEP on 16 March, rates various SELEP projects in terms of delivery, finances and reputation. The document shows [2, p63] that the QGR scores a five – the highest risk – in all three areas.

A score of five for ‘delivery’ means [2, p72] that:

‘Major issues have caused significant delays (more than 3 months); processes have been interrupted or not carried out correctly (e.g. planning permission has not been secured); or significant changes have had to be made to the aims and scope of the project. Project likely to under deliver forecast project outputs.’

According to the QGR consultation report [3], the road was due to open around a year after the Bexhill Hastings Link Road (BHLR). However, the BHLR opened over two years ago, whilst the QGR is still a significant way off being finished.

A score of five for ‘finances’ means [2, p72] that the project is at least 10% over budget. The QGR is now 100% over budget, having increased in cost from £6m to £12m [4].

And a score of five for ‘reputation’ [2, p72] means that:

‘Challenges with project are undermining LEP credibility with public or key stakeholder. This negative reputation will continue longer term and be hard to recover from.’

In order to meet the £6m cost increase, £2m has been taken from the budget for walking and cycling in Hastings and Bexhill [4]. Local environmental group Combe Haven Defenders warned [5] almost two years ago that the QGR was underfunded and that costs were likely to rise.

Andrea Needham, spokesperson for Seachangewatch, said, “The Queensway Gateway road is turning out to be a financial and environmental disaster. It is vastly over-budget, significantly behind schedule, and extremely unlikely to create the jobs that SeaChange Sussex has claimed for it. It was never subject to proper scrutiny from either East Sussex County Council or Hastings Borough Council, and now is putting the reputations of all those involved at risk. Both councils need to refuse to give the green light to any more of SeaChange’s disastrous projects.”