LETTER: Support for a northern route

Congratulations to the organisers of the Bypass not A27 Throughpass posters along the A27 at Worthing and to Dr Heather Mercer for her call for a northern route bypass.

The Herald of March 22 contained an article by Joshua Powling on including the A259 in the Government’s MRN, or major road network plan. This was to meet the lack of alternative routes for east-west movement which is most problematic when accidents, etc., occur.

The article contained the words ‘There is a need for alternative routes particularly to facilitate east west movement... alternative routes have an environmental impact... may be preferable to improve the network rather than improve the alternative routes...’.

Any attempt to ‘improve the network’ in order to avoid the alternative (i.e., northern) routes will not solve our Worthing, Sompting and Lancing traffic problems, especially since the government wishes us to build more houses.

And there are plans to do just this in Sompting and Lancing, which will increase the local traffic flow still more. The conclusion must be to build a northern bypass from west of High Salvington to join the bridge over the river Adur.

One option is to build a dual carriageway through the Downs along a route suggested in 1990s ( I have a photocopy of the plans with me still).

This would, to an extent, spoil the Downland.

But my experience of the Brighton bypass, both driving on it and walking beside it, is that the damage to the environment is surprisingly little.

The other option beloved of many is to widen and dual the A280 (Long Furlong) the A24 to Washington and then dual the A283 past Steyning to join the A27 at the River Adur bridge.

This option is not as easy as it sounds.

There will be massive travel disruption, there will be big damage to the landscape on Long Furlong, the Steyning bypass may not be amenable to dualling and joining the A283 to the A27 at the River Adur would seem to me to require very tight turns not suitable for a major trunk road.

Besides, at one meeting I heard the Highways England representative say that the A283 and the A280 are in the care of West Sussex County Council and so seemingly ‘untouchable’ by Highways England.

At this stage I would urge our two very excellent MPs to meet with the relevant West Sussex county councillors and decide how, working together, they can persuade both the Department of Transport and Highways England to give us a northern dual carriageway bypass.

The money spent on such a road will save spending money fiddling with the A259 as part of the MRN plan.

People like me can only write letters. Please will our elected representatives join forces for a northern bypass?

Rob Ferguson

Hillbarn Lane

Worthing

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