Arundel bypass review offers fresh hope

The A27 at a standstill at Crossbush
The A27 at a standstill at Crossbush

ARUNDEL’S MP has welcomed fresh moves to bring about improvements to the A27 through West Sussex, reviving the hope the historic town may one day have a fully-fledged bypass.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander last week announced that a feasibility study would be carried out as part of the Government’s spending review, which includes allocating £28bn to improve local and national roads.

The package pledges £69m to upgrade six junctions of the Chichester bypass and a feasibility study to look at problems on the A27, including the stretched around Arundel and Worthing.

Nick Herbert, MP for Arundel and South Downs, said: “After years under the previous Government in which much-needed and previously agreed upgrades to the A27 were dropped from the roads programme, this is good news.

“We will now have a proper Government study into what’s needed at Arundel and Worthing, where schemes could be even more expensive. This is welcome progress.

“I will continue to make the case that Arundel requires a full, off-line by-pass, as previously agreed.

“However, our local authorities and partners, especially West Sussex County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership, must now step up to the plate to ensure that we do not lose this new opportunity to secure the A27 upgrades which the community needs.”

West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, Pieter Montyn, said: “This is excellent news – it is what we have been pushing for for a long time.

“For the first time we have official recognition from the Government about the problems on the A27.

“The Chichester by-pass is mentioned by name and there is a commitment to take forward schemes to improve the six junctions in the 2015 to 2019 spending period, and to investigate the need to do something about Arundel and the Worthing to Lancing corridor.

“We need to work closely with the Highways Agency to bring this about.”

Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, who has spent years lobbying for an answer to congestion problems through Worthing, Lancing and Arundel, which has been named as one of the ‘most notorious and long-standing road hot spots in the country’ said he was ‘delighted that our campaigning has paid off’.