Correspondence between Bypass Not A27 Throughpass Residents Action Group and local councillors, MPs, government agencies and others Click Here
Worthing Deserves Better and also Deserves to Hear the Facts
Following a residents meeting in APRIL 2016 arranged by ADUR AND WORTHING RESIDENTS’ ALLIANCE (AWRA) at the Vale School, a number of Worthing residents agreed that more information needed to be provided to all Worthing households.
It was evident that the vast majority of those that attended the meeting had no idea of the proposals being put together which would affect the existing A27 road through the north of Worthing and Lancing.
A number of residents attending the meeting were concerned that any proposals could be presented as a ‘fait accompli’ - a thing that has already happened or been decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept it. Therefore a new group called Bypass not A27 Throughpass was set up to ensure Worthing residents’ had a say and could stop plans to dual the road through Worthing and Lancing and campaign for a long awaited proper relief road for the town.
Having checked all the publications on the Highways England (HE) website, it was evident that whilst a number of proposals had been considered for the Worthing to Lancing stretch, only three ‘options’ were to be proposed. These can be found in the reports ‘A27 Feasibility Study’ Reports 1 to 3 prepared by Parsons Brinkerhoff for the Highways Agency in February 2015 and in the A27 Corridor Feasibility Study Summary published by the Department For Transport in MARCH 2015. (Links to these are on our website – www.bypassnota27throughpass.org ).
There’s a lot to read but we would encourage ALL Worthing residents to take the time to read it.
As a summary there are three options put forward for consideration based on ‘strategic and economic fit’:
Option A, based on maximising tunnelling. Estimated cost range: of £1,250m - £1,350m +
Option F, based on previous on-line dualling proposals. Estimated cost range: £90m - £100m
Option G, based on localised widening and junction improvements. Estimated cost range: Approx £50m
The Department for Transport study summary concludes that the £350 million investment for the A27 consists of and includes:
A27 Worthing and Lancing improvements – improvements to the capacity of the road and junctions along a stretch of single carriageway in Worthing and narrow lane dual carriageway in Lancing. The extent and scale of the improvements, including the option of full dualling, are to be agreed in consultation with West Sussex County Council and the public.
Our group’s aims are to ensure that dualling the present road is not an option and that a proper relief road around the town should be fought for.
Having set up the Bypass Not A27 Throughpass group we wanted to make residents aware and see what support we might have, by setting up a Community Meeting, which was announced by leaflet drops along the route of the road, along with posters, emails asking Residents Associations to pass on details and emails to councillors’ representing wards and divisions including the A27. We notified both MPs of our intention beforehand to which we had email replies from both.
The meeting was a great success with over 750 residents attending and this encouraged us to continue with our aims.
Following the meeting a letter has been published, containing inaccuracies which we answer here:
Both local Members of Parliament and all local councillors were advised of the meeting before it took place. The MPs were not invited to this initial meeting but were advised that we would like to have a follow up meeting with them to answer residents’ questions. Nothing was hidden
All councillors representing constituents along the A27 were specifically invited by email, so they did not “just find out by receiving flyers through their doors”.
Most people attending the meeting were not aware of the proposals being worked on by Highways England. Proposals may well have been in the ‘public domain’ i.e. published on the Highways England website but much more should have been done to communicate these plans to everyone who could be affected before the limited options that are likely to be presented were decided upon. DECISIONS HAVE ALREADY BEEN MADE. Not all sections of the town have a Residents’ Association and not all residents are members of them. Not all residents read the local paper or read MPs websites or subscribe to an MP’s blog. MPs are elected for the whole constituency and not just their voters. There is a duty to work on behalf of all their constituents and not just a few.
The meeting was NOT arranged by a Residents’ Association because they are aware that their duty is to all of their residents who may have many different views.
At a Residents’ Association meeting in Findon Valley it was made clear by an MP that questions about the A27 Throughpass were not welcome.
At the Bypass Not A27 Throughpass community meeting at Worthing College it was made clear that our MPs were very involved with the proposals being made by membership of the A27 Working Group. At no time was it said that MPs were not ‘closely engaged with this important issue’. Rather the opposite.
If it is the “purpose of the Working Group to make sure that local people know what is
BYPASS NOT A27 THROUGHPASS ACTION GROUP
We are a group of local residents formed:
To achieve a bypass for Worthing:
To engage in all significant proposals to change the A27 between Shoreham Flyover and the Clapham/Patching junction; to ensure practicable proposals are acceptable to the affected residents and independently verifiable as likely to improve traffic flows;
To propose improvements to relevant authorities for consideration.
We are non-political. We believe Worthing deserves better for every resident and business.