BUSINESSES, councils and MPs from across West Sussex are today uniting in a campaign to significantly improve one of the country’s most congested roads – the A27.
Tonight (Thursday, June 26) will see the official launch of the A27 Action Campaign at Worthing College.
It renews the fight for upgrades to the notorious stretch of road that runs right across the south of West Sussex.
The campaign is being spearheaded by leading business figures from the county and is supported by West Sussex County Council.
It aims to dual the entire stretch of the A27 while improving bottlenecks in Chichester and the Worthing-Lancing corridor.
Campaigners are also hoping to build a new bypass of Arundel.
Other plans will see further improvements to the Fontwell junction and to the trunk road junctions at Brighton, along with better A27/A26 access to Newhaven.
A27 is a ‘coastal car park’
Nick Herbert, MP for Arundel and South Downs, said: “The A27 is meant to be a coastal highway but too often it is a coastal car park.
“Rat-running through the South Downs to avoid traffic jams on the A27 damages the environment and the National Park.
“There is a strong environmental and economic case for fully dualling the A27.
“The Government has commissioned a feasibility study into A27 upgrades, and has already committed to work at Chichester, recognising that the A27 is one of the six worst traffic pinch points in the whole country.
“We have an important opportunity to make the case for upgrading the A27, which is why a concerted new campaign, bringing together local businesses, councils and MPs, is so timely and important.”
MP for Chichester Andrew Tyrie, MP for Worthing West Peter Bottomley, MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Nick Gibb, and MP for East Worthing and Shoreham Tim Loughton also support the campaign.
The A27 is on a list of six routes across the country being considered by the Government for improvement, and over the last six months West Sussex County Council has had meetings with the Department of Transport to make the case for improvements on the A27.
‘Single biggest barrier to economic growth’
Louise Goldsmith, leader of the county council, said: “The A27 is one of the single biggest barriers to economic growth across our county.
“We are committed to growing our economy locally and encouraging other big businesses, not just from the UK but from further afield, to come and establish themselves in our part of the world.
“The A27 is notorious. Being stuck is all too regular an experience for our residents and our companies.”
She added: “We need a reliable, free flowing, efficient dual carriage way along the coast to allow local companies to go about their business quickly and with the minimum of fuss. If we want to build up and nurture our economy in the county we need to ensure that businesses can get their staff, products and vehicles where they need to be when they need to be there.
“To avoid the possible hold-ups, particularly at peak times, many drivers are taking alternative routes, which means some of our villages that are not really suitable for heavy traffic suffer.
“The air quality is poor and they are rightly saying enough is enough.
“The time has come for action and I am delighted to support this new fight by our businesses to get the A27 to the top of that Government improvement list.”
Businesses – join the fight
She is urging local businesses to back the campaign, which launches from 5pm.
Commuters and residents can pledge their support for the campaign by visiting the A27 Action website, here, and liking a new Facebook page ‘A27 Action’.
The page will be used to keep followers up to date with the campaign’s progress and will also feature personal updates from people leading the fight.
They can also follow @A27action on Twitter.
The survey can be completed online at www.a27action.co.uk