UPDATE: MP praised Government for Arundel bypass pledge

LG 270614 Secretary of state for transport will be meeting Arundel's MP and local councillors to discuss the congestion at the A27. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140630-083336001
LG 270614 Secretary of state for transport will be meeting Arundel's MP and local councillors to discuss the congestion at the A27. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140630-083336001
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ARUNDEL’S MP has praised the Government for its £350million commitment to improving the A27 and building a bypass of Arundel.

Speaking at the House of Commons this afternoon, following today’s £15billion national road improvements announcement, Nick Herbert said he ‘welcomed’ the statement.

He was also critical of the Labour party for its role in axing the original bypass plan in 2003.

Mr Herbert said: “Severe congestion at Arundel damages both the local economy and the environment.

“Traffic is forced up through the South Downs. Storrington in my constituency has some of the worst air pollution in the south east, so I welcome today’s statement and announcement on the Arundel bypass and thank my honourable friend.

“Does he share my surprise that the opposition front bench should criticise this government for delivery when it was the last government that cancelled the Arundel bypass?”

Responding, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “No it doesn’t surprise me about the line which the opposition have taken.

“I think it is a great pity. I have been down to the road my honourable friend supports and I think it will make a huge difference to Arundel and the amount of traffic backing up on that road at the moment is both bad for Arundel, bad for the environment and it is bad for passengers.”

During the debate, the Transport Secretary also announced that dualling of the A27 at Worthing was ‘certainly on the table’.

Dualling at Worthing would be considered if residents ‘showed their enthusiasm’ for such a scheme.

In response, East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton said: “They will be dancing in the streets of Lancing, Sompting and Worthing this evening not least amongst the static traffic on the A27 itself.

“For the avoidance of doubt, can he confirm that the option of a full dualling through Worthing is very much on the table as part of his announcement.”

Mr McLoughlin replied: “I don’t want to encourage anybody to be dancing on the roads. But the point about looking at dualling is certainly on the table and it will be for local people to show their enthusiasm for such a scheme so we can move it forward.”

For the full report plus a special feature of the plans and its impact, see this week’s Gazette, out Thursday, December 4.