West Sussex businesses, councils and MPs have united in a campaign to dual the A27. Supported by West Sussex County Council, the A27 Action campaign will officially launch tonight at Worthing College.
It renews the fight for upgrades to the notorious stretch of road that runs across West Sussex.
Leading business figures make the argument such improvements are vital for the prosperity and economic growth of the county. Companies are being asked to support the fight by completing an online survey on the A27 Action website.
The results will be collated and presented to Government as part of a package of evidence about why improvements are so desperately needed.
The campaign is being spearheaded by leading business figures from the county, including Ricardo UK and the local Chambers of Commerce.
It calls for:
- Dualling of the A27 across Sussex;
- Six improved junctions at Chichester;
- Improvements to the Worthing-Lancing corridor including the five main junctions and a new junction at Lancing;
- A bypass of Arundel;
- Improvements to the Fontwell junction;
- Improvements to the trunk road junctions at Brighton; and
- Improved A27/A26 access to Newhaven.
Martin Fausset, Managing Director of Ricardo UK in Shoreham-By-Sea, said: “The A27 west of Shoreham is an important trunk route that has been neglected for many years.
“Its current poor state acts as a constraint on businesses such as Ricardo in the Shoreham and Worthing areas.
“For this reason we support the campaign for the upgrade of the A27 through West Sussex.”
The A27 is on a list of six routes nationally being considered by the Government for improvement, and over the last six months West Sussex County Council has had meetings with the Department of Transport (DFT) to make the case for improvements on the A27.
The campaign group wants to present evidence to the DFT from local businesses about why the A27 needs to be at the top of the improvement list.
Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “The A27 is one of the single biggest barriers to economic growth across our county.
“We are committed to growing our economy locally and encouraging other big businesses, not just from the UK but from further afield, to come and establish themselves in our part of the world.
“The A27 is notorious. Being stuck is all too regular an experience for our residents and our companies.
“We need a reliable, free flowing, efficient dual carriage way along the coast to allow local companies to go about their business quickly and with the minimum of fuss. If we want to build up and nurture our economy in the county we need to ensure that businesses can get their staff, products and vehicles where they need to be when they need to be there.
“To avoid the possible hold ups, particularly at peak times, many drivers are taking alternative routes, which means some of our villages that are not really suitable for heavy traffic suffer.
“The air quality is poor and they are rightly saying enough is enough.
“The time has come for action and I am delighted to support this new fight by our businesses to get the A27 to the top of that Government improvement list.
“Please support us. If you’re a local businesses – and it doesn’t matter if you are a one man band or you employ 10,000 people your voice is just as important -please just take just a few minutes to fill out this survey and help make our fight heard in the corridors of power.”
The campaign officially launches at 5.00 pm at Worthing College when business leaders, politicians and MPs will come together to explain to West Sussex businesses how they can support the campaign.
Sir Peter Bottomley and Tim Loughton are among West Sussex MPs supporting the campaign.
Tomorrow (Friday June 27th), Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin will meet A27 Action Campaign leaders at Goodwood House to listen to their case.
Commuters and residents can pledge their support for the campaign by visiting the A27 Action website and liking a new Facebook page ‘A27 Action’.
The page will be used to keep followers up to date with the campaign’s progress and will also feature personal updates from people leading the fight.
They can also follow @A27action on Twitter.
The survey can be completed on the A27 Action website.