March 1, 2013 by operationdisclosure
Press Information Note
Combe Haven Defenders 
1 March 2013
REVEAL SECRET DOCUMENTS OR FACE “NONVIOLENT RAIDS”, TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT TOLD
Local residents to deliver Hastings Link Road ultimatum on felled tree
12.30pm, Monday 4 March, Department for Transport, London: Campaigners against the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR) will issue an ultimatum to the Department for Transport (DfT)  next Monday, demanding the release of secret documents about the £100m project. According to the ultimatum, which will be delivered written onto a section from an 87-year-old tree felled to make way for BHLR, if the DfT fails to comply by 5 April then activists will enter the Department to peacefully search for, copy and distribute the documents themselves .
In late 2011 / early 2012 Undersecretary of State for Transport Norman Baker asked the DfT for its recommendations on funding the £100m Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR)  – the ‘first and the worst’ of over 190 new road projects that the Government, big business & local councils are pushing throughout England and Wales .
The DfT concluded that East Sussex County Council had “significantly overstate[d] the benefits of the scheme”  but its recommendations are being withheld from the public , leading many to speculate that it may have recommended against funding the project, which has now secured provisional government funding of £56m.
Among those delivering the ultimatum – which will follow a photocall and public statement at 12.30pm on the steps of the DfT – will be representatives from the Combe Haven Defenders, Bexhill Link Road Resistance, the Hastings Alliance, the Grannies Action Group, and an as-yet-unnamed group of local residents from Crowhurst, one of the villages that will be severely impacted by the Road .
The peaceful protests against the Road– which have been running since 14 December, with 28 arrests – have already received national attention .
Andrea Needham, a spokesperson for the “Operation Disclosure” inititative, said: “Though the Department for Transport concluded that there was a “significant” risk of the BHLR achieving low value for money , and that East Sussex County Council had “significantly overstate[d] the benefits of the scheme”, the public are being denied the right to see the DfT’s recommendations regarding funding the project. We have a right to see these before work on this environmentally-disastrous white-elephant project becomes unstoppable, and if the Department won’t provide them we will come back and peacefully obtain them ourselves.”
 Department for Transport, 33 Horseferry Rd, London SW1P 4DR
 The ultimatum, addressed to transport Minister Norman Baker, reads: “Unless the Department for Transport’s redacted recommendations regarding the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road are released by 5 April, we the people will return to peacefully release this info ourselves. www.operationdisclosure.wordpress.com”
 See para. 6 of http://combehavendefenders.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/annex-2b-extracts-from-19-march-submission-to-dft-ministers.pdf
 Combe Haven Defenders (www.combehavendefenders.org.uk); Bexhill Link Road Resistance (http://www.blinkrr.org); Hastings Alliance (http://hastingsalliance.com); Grannies’ Action Group (http://tinyurl.com/granniesaction); Crowhurst residents (http://tinyurl.com/crowhurstresidents)