Private investment needed for A27 improvements

WEST Sussex County Council has welcomed a call by prime minister David Cameron for private investment to improve major roads.

A council spokesman said Mr Cameron’s speech, in which he argued private sector financing could pay to upgrade the country’s busiest roads, could be the solution to A27 congestion in West Sussex.

Earlier this month, a letter, signed by the leaders of the county council, Arun District Council, Adur District Council, Worthing Borough Council, Horsham District Council and Chichester District Council, was sent to the secretary of state for transport, Justine Greening.

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The letter asked the government to look again at the case for an Arundel bypass, improvements to the Chichester bypass and improvements to the road between Lancing and Worthing.

County council leader Louise Goldsmith said: “David Cameron’s wish for greater private sector funding to rebuild roads could be an important step towards unlocking improvements on the A27.

“Public sector funding can never bring about all three major improvements along the road within the time frame we need them, but investment from the private sector can.

“We had already written to the secretary of state asking her to prioritise improvements on the A27 and the prime minister’s view re-affirms our stance.”

She added: “We want to talk to businesses locally to see what they feel about this and what role they can play in future.”

Mrs Goldsmith said asking for financial help from the private sector would not, necessarily, mean introducing toll roads.

“The media has concentrated much of their attention on what the prime minister had to say about the potential for toll roads,” she said.

“As the prime minister himself made clear, more toll roads is just part of a possible answer.

“The much bigger issue is how we secure the investment we need in our roads to solve the urgent need to support economic growth and ease congestion.

“The bottlenecks on the A27 are a case in point.

“Successive governments have failed to find public money for these much needed improvements. We need to look for more creative solutions.”

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