Tim Loughton, East Worthing & Shoreham MP, has written urgently to the Highways Agency calling on them to suspend the census which caused chaos for commuters and children being driven to school travelling on the A27 yesterday.
The Highways Agency were supposedly gathering data from drivers to help form proposals to improve the A27.
In order to do this the Highways Agency, along with Sussex Police, pulled over 1 in 4 cars to ask them a series of questions during rush hour.
The census caused long tail backs with queues from Lancing to the Southwick Tunnel and many people complained to Tim that this had added over an hour to their normal journey times.
Commenting, Tim said: “This census has caused chaos and the way in which it was conducted was simply unacceptable. No warning was given, least of all to me. I support the Highways Agency in researching appropriate proposals to improve the A27 and of course I have been very involved in getting this project off the ground at long last but the way they are going about it is all wrong.
“Drivers had to wait in some cases five times longer than usual and this is hardly going to encourage local residents to cooperate with research for this essential work in future. Given the amount of technology available these days I fail to see how there are not less disruptive ways to gather necessary data.
“The official national census certainly did not cause this much disruption and annoyance. It is ironic that work to reduce congestion on the A27 itself caused maximum congestion and the police and highways officials carrying out the work were oblivious to the disruption they were responsible for.
“This really cannot be allowed to happen again and I have asked the Highways Agency to suspend immediately any future repeats of this exercise and come up with a much more appropriate way of gathering data and explain properly to my constituents what went wrong and how it was allowed to happen.”