Transport Secretary calls for review of alternative A27 options for Worthing and Lancing

Traffic on the A27 Worthing, Grove Lodge. Picture by Eddie Mitchell SUS-170719-100408001
Traffic on the A27 Worthing, Grove Lodge. Picture by Eddie Mitchell SUS-170719-100408001

Alternative schemes to improve the A27 between Worthing and Lancing will be explored, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has confirmed.

A single £69million option to tweak six key junctions was heavily criticised during a Highways England consultation, which closed last month.

Sir Peter Bottomley and Tim Loughton met Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to discuss the A27 plans for Worthing and Lancing. Picture courtesy of Tim Loughton. SUS-171210-114116001

Sir Peter Bottomley and Tim Loughton met Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to discuss the A27 plans for Worthing and Lancing. Picture courtesy of Tim Loughton. SUS-171210-114116001

In a letter to MPs Sir Peter Bottomley and Tim Loughton, Mr Grayling said he had asked for a review of ‘viable alternative options’.

But he warned if more extensive plans were considered, they would have to compete with other road schemes for funding.

A joint statement from Sir Peter and Mr Loughton read: “This is very good news and we are delighted that Chris Grayling has listened to the very real concerns we preened from our constituents who have universally rejected the inadequate and underfunded single option.

“It is essential that Highways England is now permitted to look at the grade separation options which are referred to in the consultation document and new effective solutions can be put forward to local people next year. This is the only way that we stand any chance of achieving significant improvements to traffic flow on our stretch of the A27.”

The MPs said they would continue to work hard to achieve additional funding.

They said: “That will certainly not be anything less than the amounts that have been earmarked for the Arundel section, which is still on track.

“This may delay the work a little but it will be worth it rather than compromise on a costly white elephant which only offered tinkering at the edges.”

Mr Grayling confirmed Highways England was aiming to announce a preferred route for the project in ‘late 2017 or early 2018’.

Mr Loughton said an announcement was expected in January.

Mr Graylings letter said: “Prior to this , I will instruct Highways England to provide me with a review of the viable alternative options considered as part of the feasibility study in 2014, including a grade separated option.

“I trust this will give a full perspective of the alternatives in terms of timing, funding and environmental factors.”

The leaders of Adur and Worthing councils welcomed the update.

Adur leader Neil Parkin and Worthing head Dan Humphreys said: “The plans presented by Highways England were derisory and in no way would improve any aspect of life across our areas.

“We hope this is a signal of intent that Mr Grayling is to look again at all options and urge him to allocate appropriate funds to deliver a long-term and lasting solution.

A full copy of the letter is on Mr Loughton’s website, at www.timloughton.com