‘Bypass is the only answer’– residents have their say on A27 Worthing scheme

Committee member Christopher Normand, chairman Maggie Winter, Councillor Dan Humphreys, Councillor Elizabeth Sparkes and resident Stephen Cranford
Committee member Christopher Normand, chairman Maggie Winter, Councillor Dan Humphreys, Councillor Elizabeth Sparkes and resident Stephen Cranford

Residents in Findon Valley and High Salvington have voiced their disapproval of the proposed A27 improvement scheme – and their conviction that a bypass would be the best solution.

More than 150 residents met at Vale School, in Vale Avenue, on Tuesday night to discuss Highways England’s £69million proposal, which is open to public consultation until Tuesday, September 12.

Highways England plans to improve six A27 junctions. Map courtesy of Highways England

Highways England plans to improve six A27 junctions. Map courtesy of Highways England

Dan Humphreys, Offington ward councillor and leader of Worthing Borough Council, said residents deserved a full explanation as to why a bypass was not proposed.

“It doesn’t tell us in enough detail what these reasons are. We need to know,” he said.

He said the proposed option, which would take years to implement but would do little to reduce journey times, was ‘bizarre’ and ‘makes no sense’.

The scheme involves installing traffic lights at three junctions.

But Stephen Cranford, a Worthing resident who studies traffic flows professionally, gave a presentation and said: “Worthing’s biggest problem is its junctions.

“It is always the junctions that cause congestion.”

He said traffic had flowed much better during the six week period last year in which the traffic lights at Grove Lodge Roundabout were out of action.

Maggie Winter, chairman of the Findon Valley Residents’ Association, read out a statement from Tim Loughton MP, which was endorsed by Sir Peter Bottomley MP.

He wrote that while the proposed scheme was ‘very disapppointing’, a bypass solution had been ‘ruled out at an early stage’ and ‘was not on the table’.

He wrote that more funds were needed for a scheme and that further work should be done to look into grade seperation options.

But Jack Delbridge, chairman of the Bypass Not A27 Throughpass Residents’ Action Group, said: “Our MPs are not listening to their constituents.

“We are completely convinced that a bypass is the only answer.”

He suggested that residents worked together to ‘make a big fuss’ about a bypass and use ‘people power’ to convince the MPs.

Councillor Elizabeth Sparkes, who also spoke at the meeting, will represent residents’ views at a county council meeting on Thursday, September 7.

“I will fight. I want to to do the best for residents,” she said.

She also stressed the importance of residents responding individually to the consultation, which can be found here.