LONG-AWAITED improvements to the A27 have returned to the national agenda after the Government last week indicated it would consider upgrades to the road.
The Department of Transport and the Highways Agency published the A27 corridor feasibility study scope document last week.
It sets out how an A27 feasibility study will be taken forward following the announcement by the Government in June last year that the A27 was one of six traffic ‘hot spots’ in the country that would be reviewed and considered for major investment.
The study will look at previous work for proposals at Arundel and Worthing, including a possible Arundel by-pass which had previously been approved but removed from the roads programme by the last Labour Government.
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert wants to set up a formal campaign for improvements to the A27 and on Monday chaired a key steering group at County Hall in Chichester to discuss how to take a campaign forward.
He said: “This document shows that the Government’s study of options for the A27 is going ahead and that it will include an Arundel bypass. It is further evidence that we have an important window of opportunity over the next few months to make the case for the A27 upgrade which West Sussex needs. That is why the campaign which we are planning is vital.”
The campaign will aim to bring together local businesses, MPs, councils and communities to persuade the Government to upgrade the A27.
The Government’s scope document highlights the issue of congestion on the route where the A27 reduces to single carriageways at Arundel and Worthing.
The objectives of the study will be to establish specific facts about a major programme on the route.
They will include assessing deliverability and timing of solutions, the benefits, and wider economic impacts.
The study reference groups include councils along the A27 route, local enterprise partnerships, MPs, statutory bodies and other key organisations.
The next milestone for the study is to identify the range of infrastructure proposals that could address the problems along the corridor. This work is due to be completed by July.