Government pressed on plans to improve A27 from Worthing to Lancing

Detailed options to improve the A27 from Worthing to Lancing will be published for consultation next year, according to ministers.

Congestion on the A27 at Worthing
Congestion on the A27 at Worthing

The stretch of road was allocated government funding but any promised upgrades have yet to materialise.

Back in 2017, Highways England consulted on just one option for the A27 and it was branded ‘tinkering round the edges’ and an ‘elaborate damp squib’.

Since then no other options or plans have been published.

This week, Tim Loughton, East Worthing and Shoreham MP, pressed the Department for Transport on what recent progress had been made on researching alternatives for alleviating traffic congestion on the A27 between Worthing and Shoreham.

Rachel Maclean, Parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport, replied that Highways England is working to identify options to go out for consultation next year.

Mr Loughton said: “In 2014, we were allocated £70 million as part of road investment strategy one. Seven years on, with several thousand additional houses nearby and with a new IKEA attracting two million customer journeys a year about to open, nothing has happened.

“Now, apparently we have just been allocated £20 million in the Budget for delivery of something between 2025 and 2030. Could we please have a bit of levelling up for infrastructure in Sussex urgently?

In response Ms Maclean said that Highways England ‘is actively working on the project and, in particular, working closely with stakeholders, because this is a very sensitive area’.

She added: “Highways England is engaging and working closely with stakeholders on detailed options for the A27. There will be a consultation on all those next year.”

According to an update posted on the agency’s website in March it is aiming to identify options for the A27 Worthing and Lancing improvement scheme in the coming months.

It said: “By the end of 2021, we plan to publish a document which summarises all historic work on various larger-scale improvement options, including a tunnel, bypass and grade-separated junctions.

“The A27 Worthing and Lancing improvements scheme was reviewed in 2019. It was re-announced with revised objectives as part of the government’s Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2): 2020 to 2025 in March 2020.”