Talks on notorious West Sussex bottleneck

DISCUSSIONS on a notorious West Sussex bottleneck are to be held on Friday.

Nick Herbert, Arundel and South Downs MP, will be meeting with Arun District Council and West Sussex County Council in Littlehampton on April 8 to discuss the A27 and, in particular, the need for an Arundel bypass.

Ian Sumnall, the Chief Executive of Arun District Council, Councillor Gillian Brown, Leader of Arun District Council and Lionel Barnard, cabinet member for Highways & Transport at West Sussex County Council will also be attending. Last month the MP joined Worthing MPs Peter Bottomley and Tim Loughton along with members of the local councils and business representatives to raise the case for improvements to the road in a meeting with the Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond.

The meeting focused on improvements at Worthing, but Mr Herbert also stressed the need for a bypass at Arundel to ease congestion.

This followed a visit in February by the Roads Minister, Mike Penning MP, to West Sussex to see the negative effect of transport problems on the A27 on the county’s economy and quality of life.

Sussex Enterprise have calculated that poor transport links in the county are costing £2 billion a year - or £29,000 a year for each business. And 14 per cent of coastal West Sussex businesses have said that they would consider relocating outside Sussex unless the transport infrastructure improves.

Last month, West Sussex County Council published their new 15-year Transport Plan. This put improvements to the A27 as one of its top priorities, as well as aiming for a bypass at Arundel.

Mr Herbert commented: “The transport network has been holding back economic growth in West Sussex for a number of years, so I’m determined to keep up the fight for these vital improvements.

He added: “I am grateful to the Secretary of State and the Roads Minister for hearing our case. Most of us accept that spending has to be prioritised, but we want to make sure that these key projects are still in the queue.”