The A27 is the main arterial route along the West Sussex coast and as such, it is the most important transport connection between Portsmouth and Brighton so it is imperative that the A27 works effectively for the benefit of the local, regional and the national economy.
The CWS Partnership Board has consistently championed the need to have both improved and reliable journey times across the area and there is a strongly aligned business view that where possible, the optimum solution is dualling along the whole A27 route in West Sussex.
The CWS Partnership would also encourage a more holistic and joined up approach be taken to improve the A27 across the wider area as it would have a much greater and more positive impact on the economy and yield greater economic return in the longer term.
We believe infrastructure investment into this area needs to deliver:
- Improved journey times – East to West along the whole stretch of the A27 from Brighton to Portsmouth
- Improved journey time reliability and resilience against unplanned incidents
- Removal of choke points and stop/start traffic with the consequent high levels of roadside pollution
- Improve the attractiveness of the area as a place to do business by improving connectivity to/from the West Sussex coast
- Better access for visitors to both the coast and the South Downs National Park
- A broader recruitment pool for businesses located in the area by improving connectivity to/from urban areas
- Improvement in the journey times and access for businesses and residents to the north and south of the A27
- Complement improvements to other transport investment that is already being made; eg A284 Lyminster bypass and the A259 corridor improvements at Littlehampton, because unlike other areas there are few acceptable alternative routes for users to use at times of congestion on the A27.
Better connectivity is essential if we are to improve the competitiveness of the West Sussex coastal economy and bring it into line with the regional average which in turn will bring significant benefits to the national economy.
We were disappointed in March 2017 when the Secretary of State instructed Highways England to stop work on the A27 bypass improvements at Chichester and further frustrated with the lack of options presented between the Worthing to Lancing stretch.
However, we welcomed the news that the Transport Secretary would look again in full, at options to upgrade the A27 through Worthing and Lancing. This recent news (October 2017) came after the leaders of the two local authorities wrote to Chris Grayling with their concerns – calling for him to visit the area in a bid to find a long-term solution to reduce congestion on the six mile stretch.
We also welcomed the long-awaited consultations into a dual carriageway bypass at Arundel (which closed on 16th October). We feel that this is an option that would benefit the area, and ideally would like to see the entire A27 treated as one project and dualled.