As the fortunes of the Port Access Road have ebbed and flowed over the years - nay, decades - the rationale for it has also changed (a bit like HS2).
Originally it was all about shifting lorry traffic from the residential Beach Road and Railway Road; back in the nineties there was still a lot of freight and produce coming in by lorry. There were also big scare stories around the time the incinerator was built that there would be imports of (quelle horreur) French rubbish. As it stands - and in the much lamented absence of the Sussex Express' 'Harbour Jottings' - the two main products passing through Newhaven appear to be scrap metal and aggregates.
Latterly the argument for the road has been that it will 'open up development land' for industrial use, thus bringing jobs and the aforementioned prosperity beyond our wildest dreams. The land in question is (or in the case of quite a lot of it, already, was) to all intents and purposes natural, brambly scrubland - it may once have been industrial, but it had very largely returned to nature. At the same time as former industrial sites on the edge of town are being razed to build housing in their place, industry moves further out to the margins . And fair enough, you couldn't build housing there - it's too vulnerable to flooding, I would imagine. It's sobering though that part of the development has entailed 'species relocation'. The question is, are there really takers for all this new industrial land?