Three charged over Hochtief/Vinci roads protest

Grant Prior 11 years ago
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Three anti-roads protesters have been charged with obstruction and assault after being arrested during demonstrations at Hochtief/Vinci’s £100m Bexhill to Hastings link road site this week.

The arrests came as local council leaders hit back at the demonstrators for delaying work on the scheme.

Campaigners from a group known as the Combe Haven Defenders have targeted the project since construction started last week.

Protesters have delayed site preparation work via a series of tactics including occupying trees and tunnels and sitting in front of diggers.

A local road was also closed on Tuesday when a campaigner strapped himself to a telegraph pole.

Sussex police superintendent Trevor Botting said: “We had to shut the road from 1.20pm to 6.20pm for public safety.

“The contractors clearing trees and undergrowth for the new link road from Bexhill to Hastings were able to continue working but the person up the pole could have caused a hazard to traffic.”

The man eventually came down and was arrested for willful obstruction and resisting arrest.

A 19-year-old man, unemployed, of Taffs Well, Cardiff, has now been charged with wilfully obstructing the highway and resisting arrest.

A 26-year-old man, unemployed, of Sheffield and a 22-year-old from London have both been charged with obstruction and assault.

All have been released on conditional bail and will appear at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on 22 January.

The leader of East Sussex County Council, Peter Jones, told the BBC : “It’s the protestors who are squandering public money.

“We have won elections with this road in the manifesto. The protestors are anti-democratic.

“By delaying the road they have already increased costs by enough to fund a primary school.”

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