One-option A27 consultation to ‘open up a dialogue’ - minister

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling pictured earlier this year
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling pictured earlier this year

A one-option consultation on improvements to the A27 between Worthing and Lancing is about ‘opening up a dialogue’ according to the Government’s Transport Secretary.

Highways England is asking residents’ opinions on a £69million scheme to cut congestion, which includes converting three of six junctions into crossroads controlled by traffic signals, widening five to create more lanes, and acquiring 6.2 hectares of land.

However both Tory MP’s have branded the plans a ‘non-starter’ and a ‘bad use of public funds for minimal effect’.

Speaking to the Herald yesterday, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Highways England will often present a recommended option. It does not mean it has to be the final scheme, the whole point about this is to open up a dialogue and I’ve already talked to Sir Peter Bottomley and about this and I will be talking to Tim.

“We want to get this right. At the same time we have to find the right balance between there are finite resources available and lots of demand for spending and trying to do the right thing by individual sections of road.

“I do want to get the A27 right and so my message is this is a discussion process it’s a consultation process. The fact that there is a recommended option on the table does not mean we are not going to listen to the views of local people.”

Both East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton and Sir Peter Bottomley, Worthing West MP, met Mr Grayling to express their concerns yesterday (Wednesday July 19).

Afterwards Mr Loughton said on Facebook: “The Transport Secretary was receptive to our concerns and said he would go away and consider what we had to say, including the need for additional funding so that Worthing and Adur are funded to the same degree as other parts of the investment project.

“This would allow actual and meaningful improvements to be made rather than merely tweaks around the edges.”

“Worth acknowledging that Highways England is not run by the Department for Transport.”

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