Preferred route for A29 bypass costing £55m revealed

A29 bypass preferred route
A29 bypass preferred route

The preferred route for a new A29 bypass to the east of Eastergate, Westergate and Woodgate villages has been revealed.

West Sussex County Council says the new road alignment will provide the infrastructure needed to support major development in the area, and will also alleviate congestion along the side existing A29, especially at the Woodgate level crossing which causes delays on a key access route into Bognor Regis.

Last year consultants WSP were commissioned to review previous studies and a identified route has been selected.

The new road costing £55.5m would start near the Lidsey Caravan Park, intersect the B2233 Barnham Road, before joining the A29 south of Fontwell.

A business case, which aims to secure £12.3m Government funding for the projects, recommends that the construction of the road be split into two phases.

The first phase would focus on the stretch of road between the A29 Fontwell Avenue and B2233 Barnham Road.

A full public consultation could start later this month or early March.

The current timeline for the project would see work on the first phase of the realigned A29 start in November 2020 with construction finishing in December 2021.

According to an officers’ report: “The A29 realignment scheme is an important part of the county council’s strategy to support growth and development. It will enable the local road network to operate more efficiently by reducing congestion, improving the predictability of journey times and providing more capacity for growth.”

This week Roger Elkins, WSCC’s cabinet member for highways and infrastructure has approved the identified route and business case.

The realignment scheme has not been without controversy as the Stop A29 Bypass group has criticised the project.

The council’s latest capital programme, approved on Friday, included £55.5m to the bypass over the next five years.

Although not yet secured it is anticipated £31.3m would come from developer contributions.