A27 works look set to be given green light

The A27 Action group
The A27 Action group

THE heavily-congested A27 looks set to get the green light for major improvements in December as part of a £15 billion investment package.

Written material accompanying Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech at the Confederation of British Industry annual conference on Monday mentioned the A27 would be included as part of the nationwide initiative.

The news comes ahead of the autumn statement on December 3, when an official announcement will be made.

West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith has been part of the A27 Action campaign group. She said: “We have had a strong campaign, supported by many people, about dualling the A27 from east to west.

“It certainly looks like David Cameron has acknowledged the effort and the case we have put in, although we still don’t know the detail yet.

“We are waiting for more information in the autumn statement on December 3, and we will be continuing to campaign right up until that day.”

The action group was launched in June, made up of business figures and politicians.

A business case, demonstrating how problems with the A27 affect the local economy and prevent growth, was handed to the Government earlier this autumn.

Arundel and South Downs MPs Nick Herbert has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement, which included 100 roads across the country.

He said: “The Prime Minister’s commitment to investment in the Strategic Roads Network is very welcome, and mention of the A27 is encouraging.

“We have been able to demonstrate that there is a strong economic and environmental case for an Arundel bypass, and I hope that this will be recognised when the Chancellor delivers his autumn statement in three weeks’ time.”

Final decisions on routes the A27 could take have not been finalised, pending a confirmation funding will be available.

A stakeholder group has looked at hypothetical routes to produce costings but no routes have been confirmed.

East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton said: “It is fantastic that the Prime Minister has referenced the A27 as one of the priority schemes, so I am now optimistic about further news in the autumn statement.

“Obviously, there is a lot of detail to be worked out and I and Peter Bottomley are meeting with the secretary of state next week to get further details.

“This is the first stage of getting A27 improvements back on the map after all these years of delay.”