Looking at plans to ease A27 congestion

West Sussex County Council is to look at ways of cutting congestion with short-term improvements on the A27 at Arundel, Chichester and between Worthing and Lancing.

However, the council is stressing that the solution to traffic issues on the national trunk road will still only come about from the major improvements it has been lobbying for over the course of many years.

Pieter Montyn, West Sussex Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, told Friday’s county council meeting: “While major improvements to the A27 will always be our ultimate aim, our economic well-being and other concerns cannot wait. The constraints are too serious and will get worse.”

Mr Montyn was proposing an amendment to a motion on the A27 that was first proposed at the July meeting of the council.

The council voted to ask him to investigate all possible options for improvements to the A27 at Chichester, Arundel and Worthing including funding options.

He also told the council: “I believe this to be the practical and achievable direction to take for our stretch of the A27.”

He said the aim were schemes “deliverable in the short term, which will support our County’s economic development, and will bring relief to users and residents alike.”

After the meeting, county council Leader Louise Goldsmith said: “We have to recognise that the type of A27 improvements we want to see are still many years away, possibly decades.

“It is because there is no immediate prospect of early Government intervention, that we are considering leading the way with a short-term strategy to support local economic growth, and help bring forward planned development close to the A27 designed to meet local needs and maintain and create jobs.

“Congestion and unreliable journey times on the A27 have been causing problems for businesses and residents for far too long.

“We cannot solve all the problems. But we believe we can develop a short-term strategy deliverable over the next five years that will go some way to improving journey times.

“At the same time the work will not prejudice the major improvements we want to see delivered, and we will continue maintaining pressure on the Department for Transport.”

It is expected the County Council will work with key stakeholders in the preparation of the strategy such as the Highways Agency, which is responsible for the trunk road, the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, the Coastal West Sussex Partnership and District and Borough Councils.

Mr Montyn said measures that will be explored would include improvements to junctions, signalling and roundabouts at congestion hotspots at Chichester, Arundel, and Worthing to Lancing.