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A27 official response set to tell Highways England: back to the drawing board

Released: Wednesday, 06 September 2017

A27 - road sign

The Government is set to be sent the clearest message yet that its proposals for the upgrade of the A27 at Worthing and Lancing are inadequate.

It is proposed that Highways England be told its plan does not provide any significant improvement to congestion, journey times nor air pollution levels.

An official report to be discussed by leaders of both Adur & Worthing Councils, which could form the authorities' submission to the consultation on the road scheme proposed by Highways England, does not pull its punches.

It points out that the proposal, for upgrades at six junctions, does not even meet the scope of the government's original plan for the entire A27 in West Sussex which called for an option of full dualling of the road through Worthing. No such option was proposed when Highways England unveiled its plans last month.

Since that time the leader of Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Dan Humphreys, and his counterpart at Adur District Council, Cllr Neil Parkin have led the fight against the proposals.

Both have called the consultation a “sham” and urged it to be halted to allow more options to be included rather than just one “take or leave” it £69m plan.

Now the report, written for consideration at the Joint Strategic Committee (JSC) of Adur & Worthing Councils next Tuesday seeks to officially frame that response also pointing out that the proposal will not help the A27 cope with the government's target for house building in the sub-region. Nor, says the report, will it support economic growth in the area.

It also insists Highways England needs to look at the A27 across West Sussex as one project rather than a series of consultations.

And it points out the one option presented to Adur and Worthing is in “stark contrast” to the multiple options at far higher cost handed to both Chichester and Arundel.

The proposal for Adur and Worthing, says the report, may make a one per cent improvement in travel times during peak rush hour but this would be offset by the exact same increase in travel time off peak caused by an increase in traffic lights.

Under the one proposal currently on the table modest improvements to six junctions between Durrington Hill and the Lancing Manor roundabout are proposed which would cut up to three minutes from journey times and, according to Highways England's own scoring system would deliver “no significant benefit.”

The JSC will decide on whether to endorse the report on Tuesday night.

Leader of Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Dan Humphreys told a packed joint meeting of the Findon Valley and High Salvington Resident Associations on Tuesday night that Highways England plans for the A27 were simply not good enough. He repeated his claim that the consultation was a sham and called for more options to be put on the table.

See also: Joint Strategic Committee, Tuesday, 12 September 2017 at 6:30pm

(PR17-124)

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