OUR COMMENT: A27 upgrade - key issues to be resolved

The announcement of a £350m upgrade to the A27 from Arundel through to Lewes is tremendously good news both for motorists as well as the local economy.

The A27 will see various changes.
The A27 will see various changes.

For far to long this arterial route has been blighted by snarl-ups and jams.

It will be equally good news for downland villages which have been turned into rat runs as traffic seeks to avoid the A27.

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Communities such as Storrington has been particularly badly affected and this has been reflected in unacceptable levels of pollution.

We congratulate West Sussex County Council, local businesses, district authorities, and many of our MPs for pressing this so hard.

Nick Herbert, MP for Arundel and the South Downs, and county leader Louise Goldsmith deserve special mention.

But the news will not please everyone and there remain some key issues to be resolved.

In Arundel, campaigners have passionately and rightly argued in defence of the local environment.

While in Worthing, the precise details of the improved route have still to be determined.

As ever, the devil will be in the detail.

But for Chichester - which is not directly affected by this announcement but has already been promised upgrade works to its roundabouts - serious concerns remain.

MP Andrew Tyrie is right to continue to press for more funding for further improvements.

A faster A27 further east will attract larger volumes of traffic. This in turn will impact further on the stretch of road around Chichester.

Already, many motorists use the city centre as a rat run turning Chichester into one huge traffic jam at peak hours.

If the vibrant city centre is to be protected and enhanced it is vital that the A27 here is not shortchanged.

What do you think about the planned changes? Add your comments below.