THE DISRUPTION caused to motorists by roadworks at Crossbush on the A27 has been taken up by Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert.
The MP has urgently contacted the Highways Agency and the Transport Minister after hearing about the impact of delays on Arundel’s businesses and seeing the traffic jams at first hand.
Mr Herbert visited the site with Arun district councillor Paul Dendle and Arundel businessman James Stewart on Friday (March 16) to see the disruption affecting the local community.
The roadworks, which are taking place at the Crossbush Interchange near Arundel, are being carried out to repair the crumbling embankment and are due to last until the end of April.
What do you think? Has your business been affected by the roadworks? Have you had to find another route to and from work? Add your comments below.
After residents and local traders contacted Mr Herbert last week to raise concerns about the roadworks, Mr Herbert took up the issue directly with the Highways Agency, questioning whether the work could be done at night and whether signs could be improved to reassure potential visitors that Arundel remained open for business.
Some traders have reported that business has reduced by as much as two-thirds as a result of the roadworks, while motorists have experienced delays of up to two hours or more.
The Agency responded to the MP that “alternative diversion signage is in place” but that it would be “bolstered over the weekend to reinforce its accuracy.”
Further ‘business open as usual’ signs would be supplied and located in more strategic (satellite) locations in Arundel (Ford and Causeway roundabouts respectively) and on the A284 approach to Littlehampton before the end of the weekend.
However, the Agency said that it would not be possible for the roadworks to be done at night.
Mr Herbert has now taken up the matter directly with the Transport Minister, Mike Penning. In an urgent letter, the MP has asked the Minister to consider whether the works can be accelerated and undertaken at night.
In his letter, Mr Herbert said: “The roadworks have not only caused appalling delays to traffic throughout the area, they have also had a serious impact on Arundel traders, causing unsustainable business loss at time when they can ill afford it. I must emphasise to you the seriousness of this situation for the local economy and small traders.
“While I am grateful that the Highways Agency has responded with the promise of better signs, this simply isn’t enough. I am concerned at the amount of time which these works are scheduled to take.
“I would be very grateful if it would be possible to consider how the works could be speeded up, including through night-time operations, and whether there are better ways to minimise disruption. I am sure that these works could be accelerated and the damage mitigated.”
Mr Herbert said that he had also asked to meet the Transport Minister early this week to discuss the matter personally.