Road protesters to blow whistle on secret Link Road documents

March 8, 2013 by operationdisclosure


Press Information Note
Combe Haven Defenders [1]
8 March 2013

“Operation Disclosure” builds as Green MP tables Parliamentary Question about redacted recommendations

8am, Monday 11 March, DfT Information Rights Unit, Hastings: Local opponents of the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR) will be blowing whistles and leafleting workers outside the Department for Transport (DfT)’s Information Rights Unit [2] next Monday, launching a call for DfT workers to “Blow the Whistle on the Link Road” by leaking the Department’s blacked-out recommendations about whether or not to fund the £100m project.

The event is part of “Operation Disclosure” [3], a month-long initiative of the Combe Haven Defenders [1] that aims to bring pressure on the Department to release the secret documents. If the DfT fails to comply by 5 April then local residents will attempt to enter the Department to peacefully search for, copy and distribute them 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) [4] – the ‘first and the worst’ of over 190 new road projects across England and Wales [5].

The DfT concluded that East Sussex County Council had “significantly overstate[d] the benefits of the scheme” [6] but its recommendations are being withheld from the public [4], leading many to speculate that it may have recommended against funding the project, which has still not received final approval for the £56m of Government funding that it requires [7].

On Thursday 7 March Green MP Caroline Lucas tabled a Parliamentary Question calling for the unredacted documents to be published and placed in the House of Commons Library [8].

Emily Johns, a spokesperson for the “Operation Disclosure” inititative, said: “According to the Department for Transport, East Sussex County Council has “significantly overstate[d] the benefits” of the Link Road, “double-counting productivity improvements” and dramatically overstating the number of jobs that would be created [6]. However, the public is not allowed to see the Department’s recommendations about using public money to fund this environmentally-disastrous white-elephant project. We call on all those who work for the DfT to blow the whistle on the Link Road by emailing a copy of the unredacted documents to us via”

[2] DfT Information Rights Unit, Ashdown House, Sedlescombe Road North, TN37 7GA
[6] See para. 6 of
[8] See Q.162 of

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