Businesses urged to join the fight to improve A27

Chichester A27 bypass from the stockbridge bridge looking East bound PPP-140628-083326006
Chichester A27 bypass from the stockbridge bridge looking East bound PPP-140628-083326006

BUSINESSES fed up by continued congestion along the A27 are being urged to join the fight calling for much-needed improvements.

The busy stretch of highway is one of six routes in England currently being considered for investment by the government.

The A27 Action campaign was launched at the start of the month to lobby for substantial funding to ease traffic around Chichester, Arundel and Worthing.

The group is calling on West Sussex businesses to show their support by filling in a ten-minute online survey at which it will present as part of its case for investment to the government.

West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith said: “We really want to encourage businesses to take the time to fill in this survey.

“The more examples we can show of how the A27 restricts our local economy from growing, the stronger our case to lobby the government.”

Evidence from businesses will continue to be gathered by West Sussex County Council during July and August, with help from business networks, before a business case is handed to the government in the autumn.

The group says it has already garnered support from a large number of businesses of all sizes voicing their concern and frustrations about how traffic jams affect their trade.

It has received the backing of the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, with chief executive Ron Crank insisting major investment is needed for the A27.

He said: “The campaign might be in its early stages, but already there is a swell of support along the route which is always encouraging at the start of any project.

“I would now urge the action group to continue pursuing their lobbying of government.”

Along with dualling the entire stretch of the trunk road, A27 Action is calling for improvement to the most congested areas as well as a bypass around Arundel.

The campaign has been met with opposition from environmental groups which believe building more roads to solve the problematic 
A27 will increase congestion, not reduce it.

Dr Tony Whitbread, chief executive of Sussex Wildlife Trust, has expressed his disappointment at the newly-launched A27 Action campaign.

Campaigners are calling for a series of improvements to be made along the entire stretch of the A27, but Dr Whitbread remains unconvinced about the proposals.

“The problem is too many cars, not too few roads,” 
Dr Whitbread said.

“It’s a 19th-century solution to a 21st-century problem. We have to work out how we can access what we need without travel.”

The chancellor will announce which of the six schemes are still in the running for investment in his autumn statement.

If the A27 is on the shortlist, the government is expected to indicate how the preferred route for any improvements would look and how much it would cost.