Adur and Worthing leaders request government intervention to find a long-term solution for the A27
The leaders of both Adur District and Worthing Borough Council are urging the transport secretary to visit the area in a bid to find a long-term solution for the A27.
It comes after the Councils sent the “strongest possible message” in officially opposing consultation plans to ‘improve’ the major east-west trunk road.
This summer Highways England unveiled only one £69 million option to try and combat congestion on the stretch through Lancing and Worthing.
But, in a letter (pictured) sent today to transport secretary Chris Grayling, the leaders of both local authorities wholeheartedly rejected the proposal and are calling for the government to do more to improve this crucial section of infrastructure.
Adur District Council leader Neil Parkin and Worthing Borough Council leader Dan Humphreys also personally invited Mr Grayling to the south coast to see the impact of the current levels of congestion.
The letter says: “We believe that the proposal is inadequate, that Highways England has not taken the time to understand the function of the A27 and that the funding envelope for these improvements needs to be significantly increased to address the long-term infrastructure needs of our communities.”
It adds: “Our residents in Adur and Worthing deserve better and we will not rest until a lasting solution that delivers real benefits is put forward.
“We have extremely ambitious growth agenda in our areas. But in order to build the hundreds of homes and create the commercial space for world-class industries to flourish, a long-term solution for our major trunk road is needed.”
After leading the way in raising concerns throughout the consultation period, Adur District and Worthing Borough Councils officially confirmed their joint response to the plan last week.
This clearly stated that the planned scheme did not go far enough, adding it was not good enough for a single “take it or leave it” approach to be presented.
The response also made clear a disappointment that the scheme would fail to deliver any significant material improvement to the time of motorists’ journeys, address air quality concerns nor take steps to support growth in the local economy.
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 approach was unanimously and formally adopted by the Adur & Worthing Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee last week (Tuesday September 12).
Councillor Parkin, leader of Adur District Council, said: “If done properly a major overhaul of the A27 could bring huge benefits to the area. But this scheme does not even come close to providing a long-term solution for this key trunk road.
“I cannot believe it has taken Highways England so long to come up with so little which is why we are sending the strongest possible message to them that this is simply not good enough.”
Councillor Humphreys, leader of Worthing Borough Council, said: “My colleagues and I all remain gobsmacked and flabbergasted by what has been put before us. I use the term improvements lightly as this in no way would improve any aspect of life across the borough.
“I believe we have been treated with contempt by Highways England and I cannot believe they have put this before us.”