A recent survey commissioned by the CWS Partnership in October 2019 found that:
- 26% of business owners who use the A27 for business travel take alternative routes every day to avoid parts of the A27 in West Sussex.
- On average, respondents think the turnover of their company would increase by 8% (7.62%) with an improved A27 in West Sussex
- Two-fifths (40%) reported that journey times on the A27 were a major problem to their company
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 delighted that in May 2018, Highways England announced its preferred route for the Arundel Bypass.
However the saga continues for both the A27 at Chichester, where progress, all being slow, is moving forward. Following significant public consultation, Highways England have been asked to consider two route option for further feasibility work. An update will be provided soon on the Highways England website.
And in for the A27 at Lancing and Worthing, a new option is now long overdue and is still to be announced.