Residents react: £69m Worthing to Lancing A27 improvement plans branded ‘inadequate’

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Unacceptable, ill-conceived, inadequate – these are some of the words used by residents reacting to a one-option consultation on improvements to the A27 between Worthing and Lancing.

Highways England is asking residents’ opinions on a £69million scheme to cut congestion, which includes converting three of six junctions into crossroads controlled by traffic signals, widening five to create more lanes, and acquiring 6.2 hectares of land.

I cannot express strongly enough the anger which the community has for this ill conceived road scheme

Bill Freeman, secretary of the Lancing Manor SE Residents Network

Nigel Kerridge, secretary of the Bypass not A27 Throughpass resident action group, said: “There are no positive features in any of the junctions changes proposed that we can understand.

“We believe that all of them will have serious negative impacts.

“The money could be much better spent elsewhere.”

He identified the ‘worst’ change as being at Lyons Farm – where right turns from the A27 eastbound into Sompting Road would be banned, affecting commercial traffic trying to reach the industrial estate.

Nathalie Hadjifotiou, of Forest Road, Worthing, said this would have ‘devastating implications’ for Broadwater residents as it would force lorries to travel down ‘unsuitable, quiet residential streets’ such as Downlands Avenue, or Forest Road and Shandon Avenue.

Many Lancing residents were equally unimpressed with the proposal.

Bill Freeman, secretary of the Lancing Manor SE Residents Network, said: “After two years development work, this is absolutely unacceptable.”

He said there were ‘major flaws’ and described the proposal for the Manor Roundabout intersection – which would prevent traffic travelling westwards from doing a u-turn, thus cutting off residents of Old Shoreham Road, Manor Close and Manor Way from their homes – as ‘unbelievable’.

“I cannot express strongly enough the anger which the community has for this ill conceived road scheme,” he said.

Jim Deen, of the Labour party, said: “We have been badly let down by our MPs who have failed to get sufficient funding to do the kind of improvements most residents and users of the road were hoping for.”

He said the debate should now move to developing an integrated plan which includes improvements to public transport and options like cycling and walking.

Urging residents to reject the proposed option, he said: “The disruption caused during the two years required to do the work will not be matched by the benefits.”

Both Tory MP’s have branded the plans a ‘non-starter’ and a ‘bad use of public funds for minimal effect’.

The Government’s Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, said the option was not necessarily ‘the final scheme’ and said he hoped the consultation would ‘open up a dialogue’.