Local Communities reject A27 improvement plans
Released: Tuesday, 20 June 2023
Local residents agree with us that the current suggested improvements to the A27 between Worthing and Lancing will not even begin to address congestion problems.
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 this stretch of the A27. In contrast, improvements to the Arundel bypass further west on the A27 are expected to cost around £320m.
Adur leader Cllr Neil Parkin and Worthing leader Cllr Dr Beccy Cooper earlier this year urged National Highways to rethink its plans for Worthing and Lancing, highlighting the underfunding for any serious solution and largely ignoring the opportunities to invest in a sustainable transport system.
National Highways has now published the results of its public consultation, which ran between 6th February 2023 and 19th March 2023 and shows the public echoes our sentiments.
More than half the people who responded said the plans were not extensive enough and would not result in fewer delays or provide more reliable journeys, would lead to rat-runs and offer poor value for money.
The first option under consideration was to widen the roundabouts at Grove Lodge and Offington Corner with new traffic lights being installed. Vehicles currently using Goodwood Road would have to access the A27 using Offington Lane instead.
The second included 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 included widening the A27 eastbound at Busticle Lane with three lanes in both directions. Access onto the A27 from Hillbarn Parade would be closed.
There were also proposals for a new shared-use route for pedestrians and cyclists along the A27 to connect Durrington Hill and Salvington Hill Junction with Grove Lodge Roundabout, as well as a new toucan crossing between Offington Corner Roundabout and Grove Lodge Roundabout to make crossings safer for cyclists and pedestrians. However, these proposals were unfunded and would require additional funding from other sources.
Adur District Council leader, Cllr Neil Parkin, said:
“This consultation shows exactly what we have been saying as a Council - that the options just do not go far enough.
“The suggestions offered will not solve any of the existing congestion and constant delays that have become all too common and infuriating for residents, business owners and tourists alike. National Highways should go back to the drawing board and come up with considerably more funding to solve the issues for the long-term benefit of everyone.
“The only part of the scheme I was in favour of was making Upper Brighton Road/West Street from The Templars to Church Lane, Sompting one way, west to east.”
Worthing Borough Council leader, Cllr Dr Beccy Cooper, stated:
“It is an insult to the intelligence of our local residents that National Highways think we will accept such a poorly conceived plan. It does not address the traffic issues that plague this road, and shows no understanding of the need to develop this area as part of a much broader sustainable transport solution for the South East.
“We are working with Transport for the South East (TfSE) who have produced a long term strategic vision for the area. Whilst it is not perfect, it should absolutely be the starting point for any transport development in this area moving forward. Piecemeal roadworks that waste valuable millions that could be better invested elsewhere seriously undermine the credibility of National Highways.
“They must now learn the lessons of their poor effort and seek to bring forward plans that prioritise public transport and active travel, that will allow them to look at traffic solutions for vehicles that do not have an alternative but to use the road network for their journey.”
National Highways agrees with the majority of respondents that improvements are desperately needed on the A27 between Worthing and Lancing. The feedback from the consultation will be used to inform the next stages of design and its Preferred Route Announcement, which it intends to share later in 2023/24.
Photo: Traffic queueing on the A27 (westbound) at Lyons Farm in Worthing
Page last updated: 26 September 2023