The entire stretch of the A27 in West Sussex should be dualled and treated as one project, an influential business partnership says today.

Proposals to upgrade six junctions in Lancing and Worthing currently out for consultation do not go far enough, says the Coastal West Sussex Partnership.

Ahead of a Highways England consultation with businesses in Worthing on Thursday, the Partnership says the proposals cost too much for the little benefit they would bring.

The Coastal West Sussex Partnership is a business-led body formed to develop the region with a central mission to ensure the area is well connected to support sustainable economic growth.

Today it insisted Highways England’s piecemeal approach to the A27 was working against a viable long term solution to the crucial road link.

Geoff Edwards, Vice President of Operations at Bowers & Wilkins Speakers and Chairman of the Partnership said: “The option currently being proposed doesn’t go far enough and more long-lasting and innovative solutions should be sought.

“The few benefits that could be delivered through this scheme appear disproportionate to the proposed costs and the disruption during the works could have a bigger cost to business.”

“We encourage Highways England to take a more holistic and innovative approach to improving the whole A27 route through West Sussex and not just on line junction improvements which will make little difference to overall journey times”

“Any solution proposed needs to give lasting benefit and at present we do not feel that these solutions will improve reliability or journey times for the medium to long term”

The £69m proposal to upgrade six junctions in Lancing and Worthing is currently out for consultation.

But the consultation has already been greeted with widespread disappointment given that even Highways England admits there will be no “significant improvement” in traffic flows once the work is finished. The government department has put forward no other options for this stretch of the road.

The Partnership says it wants to see the government take on overall approach and  the road dualled across the whole of West Sussex for the benefit of the local, regional and national economy.

The Department for Transport recognises that at peak times, it can take 60 minutes to travel by car between Worthing and Brighton and 90 minutes to travel between Chichester and Brighton. With the distance at just 14 and 32 miles respectively, the Partnership says the length of time is simply not good enough.

Local business have been invited by Highways England to a consultation meeting at the Chatsworth Hotel, The Steyne, Worthing on Thursday, August 17 between 8am and 10am.

The consultation as a whole will run until the 12th September and the consultation brochure can be found:

To find out more about the CWS’s thoughts on the A27 click here.