Be prudent and popular, Gordon

DEAR Gordon, Congratulations on getting your "fiscal stimulus" ideas so widely accepted '” although I have strong reservations over how the resultant borrowing will affect the pound in the pocket of at least the next generation.

But we are where we are, and you promise an ambitious programme of private and public works to get people back to work, just as America's Franklin Delano Roosevelt did at the height of the early-1930s Depression.

Well, Prime Minister, you may not have a Grand Coulee Dam to build in Britain Inc, but there is at least one much-needed project which will tick the right box for West Sussex very nicely, thank you!

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Why not apply your new-found dynamism to getting a Worthing-Lancing A27 bypass back on the works schedule as soon as possible, and include a proper Arundel bypass to ease congestion further west? You don't have to start from scratch; the new routes, tunnels, etc., have already been planned.

Just think, Gordon, how this will boost your aims of providing employment and making industry more efficient. There will be jobs galore once construction gets underway '” and because of the severity of this economic downturn, you have said you are looking several years ahead.

And think how popular this new bypass will be! South-east industry will be eternally grateful to you for removing this expensive bottleneck, which adds up to millions of pounds lost in wasted time and fuel.

Then, and not least, Worthing residents will be relieved of the awful A27 congestion which blights their business, social and home lives, particularly those living plumb on the present route of this vital trunk road.

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Bonus no. 3 will be the "trickle-down effect" of building the bypass. Money in the pockets of those road construction employees means extra cash being spent in the shops and on other services. More jobs will be saved/created as a result.

All right, I know environmentalists will be on my back for thinking of carving out more road space (and on yours, too, if you follow my advice). But new ideas in road design can overcome many of the objections made in former years. And in your own words, Gordon, fresh thinking is needed to pull this country around.

Also, to be frank, the A27 improvements seem small beer compared with plans to continue building more and more houses on further swathes of green field land.

Last summer, with the property slump in full swing, your government increased the number of new homes it wants built in West Sussex between now and 2026, from 9,300 to 11,500.

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Who will buy them all, when there are already umpteen properties which can't be sold because of the credit crunch? I even wonder if there is any future for the proposed West Durrington development.

Yours, etc.,

Brian Stephens


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