Could engineer’s A27 tunnels plan solve traffic woes?

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A retired civil engineer claims that tunnels below the A27 could be the answer to the area’s traffic woes.

Jasper Baker from Shoreham believed that two single-carriageway tunnels beneath Worthing and Arundel could be built in the budgets set out by Highways England for their current plans to improve the roads.

He said he was moved to act after being ‘fed up’ with A27 traffic and the ‘disgraceful’ options Highways England has offered.

The 65-year-old worked for British Rail for 37 years and helped deliver the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, a high-speed railway from London to the Channel Tunnel.

He said: “I think simple is the key. That was always the motto, and that is how we got things built.

“You don’t go for all-singing, all-dancing, high-spending rubbish; you want something that will inconvenience the least number of people and keep the customer happy, and show them they got something for their money.”

One tunnel would begin at the Sussex Pad junction in Lancing and run under the exisiting A27, emerging near Castle Goring in Worthing.

Mr Baker’s Arundel plans would see a new stretch of road built at the Crossbush junction and crossing the River Arun until it turned into a tunnel west of Ford Road. It would run under the national park before emerging west of The White Swan pub, where it would join up with the A27.

He said the tunnels could be built with existing equipment if the £100million and £250million budgets for Worthing and Arundel were combined, and could be constructed without interrupting traffic.

He has gone to Highways England with his ideas. Their spokesperson said: “We welcome all ideas and we’d like to encourage Mr Baker – and anyone else interested in improving the A27 – to have their say in the consultations.

“The options that we’ve put forward for improving the A27 at Worthing and Lancing and at Arundel are what we have found to be the best achievable options at each location, but the whole point of the consultation is to put these ideas to the public and ask for their views.

“We promise that we will take all consultation responses fully into account. Anyone interested in the proposals should have their say by completing the consultation survey online or by post, by 12 September for A27 Worthing and Lancing and 16 October for A27 Arundel.”