March 9th, 2023

Councils criticise A27 plans

Plans to improve the A27 and provide an environmental and economic boost to the region do not go far enough due to a lack of investment and lack of ambition to improve alternatives to car journeys, councillors have warned.
The road, which is a mixture of dual and single carriageway, is the only east-to-west trunk road south of the M25 and is hugely important for both businesses and residents.

However, it is in desperate need of upgrading with the 6km stretch between Worthing and Lancing being one of the most congested, causing frequent tailbacks and delays to journey times and delays to journey times as well as noise and air pollution.

National Highways, the government-owned company charged with operating, maintaining and improving motorways and major A roads in England, has earmarked £20 million to improve that stretch of the A27.

There are three proposed options under consideration with one being to widen access to Offington Corner and Grove Lodge roundabouts and new traffic lights being installed. Vehicles currently using Goodwood Road would have to access the A27 using Offington Lane instead.

The second includes widening of the A27 at Lyons Way with a new westbound lane for those turning into Sompting Road, which would be converted into a one-way northbound road to the north of the A27. 

Access to the A27 from Hadley Avenue would stop, while Upper Brighton Road through Sompting village would be converted into a one-way eastbound road.

The third option also includes widening the A27 eastbound at Busticle Lane with three lanes in both directions. Access onto the A27 from Hillbarn Parade would be closed.

However, Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council have told National Highways none of the options will solve the issues.

Improvements to the Arundel bypass further west on the A27 are expected to cost around £320m and Adur leader Cllr Neil Parkin and Worthing leader Cllr Dr Beccy Cooper have urged National Highways to rethink its plans.

Cllr Parkin said: “The A27 is a major route for residents, visitors and businesses, not just in the region but in the wider area, so it is critical that it receives sufficient investment. 
“I welcome the idea of making Upper Brighton Road one-way, as long as there are measures put in place to prevent people speeding along there as a rat-run, but the current plans for the A27 and suggested funding are nowhere near good enough.
“This needs resolving as a matter of urgency so businesses can reach their full potential and residents and visitors have a better quality of life with less congestion.

Cllr Cooper said: “Problems with the A27 have been the bane of local residents’ lives for far too long. We have heard a lot of talk about how road improvements will benefit our communities, but this proposal once again falls far short of these aspirations. £20 million is a drop in the ocean for road upgrades.
“But it could make a substantive difference to the development of a much needed affordable bus network, alongside making the road and surrounding area much safer for pedestrians and cyclists alike.
“Rather than close the road for a year to widen some roundabouts and, on a good day, give people a four-minute improvement on their journey, why not take the opportunity to give our local residents viable alternatives to car journeys. The benefit of this investment would massively outstrip a year of inconvenience for the sake of four minutes.
“Furthermore, the air quality issues that plague families living along the road are fast becoming a public health emergency and it is remiss of National Highways to propose road works for an additional 12 months that will only generate more traffic fumes and further exacerbate the situation.”

The A27 junctions at Grove Lodge, Durrington Cemetery and Lyons Way are traffic hotspots and National Highways launched a six-week public consultation which runs until March 19.

To view the proposals and to have your say, visit the National Highways’ website.
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Tags: Community, Environment Eco, News, Opinion, Worthing

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