BUSINESS and council leaders around Bognor Regis have said upgrading the A27 will help the town’s economy boom.
On Monday, December 1, the government announced a £350m package of improvements to the A27 in Sussex at Arundel, Worthing and Lancing, and Lewes.
Chancellor George Osborne said up to £250m of the money would be committed to a dual carriageway bypass around Arundel.
David Myers, advisor to the Bognor Regis Regeneration Board, said: “The new investment will help our objective of making Bognor a great place to live, work, visit and invest. The A27 as the main coastal route, has been a barrier to economic growth.
“Bognor businesses and the community are impacted in many ways. Deliveries in and out of their premises are delayed, meetings missed, employees having to suffer longer commuting and potential employees put off by uncertain travel-to-work times.”
Mr Myers said the government’s decision was a great result for the A27Action campaign, ending 30 years of waiting for improvements to the A27.
“It is pleasing that the campaign has successfully brought the urgent need for A27 investment to the attention of government ministers,” he said.
The government’s road investment strategy said work at Arundel would include a new dual carriageway bypass to link together the two existing dual carriageway sections of the road.
It wants the bypass to start at the previous preferred route, subject to consultation with the National Park Authority, local councils and residents and alternative options.
The £350m is in addition to a previously committed-to scheme to improve roundabouts in Chichester.
Arun District Council leader Gillian Brown, said: “As someone who has been involved, for many years, in a campaign to improve the A27 and make a case for funding the Arundel bypass, I am delighted with the government’s announcement.
“Getting funding for this improvement has been a key priority for the district council and it will be very welcome news for residents and businesses who use this vital road network daily.”
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert MP said: “This is fantastic news for West Sussex. Congestion at Arundel has caused delays, forcing traffic up through this historic town and the South Downs and damaging investment in our coastal communities.”