General Election Candidates Views on the A27
We wrote to all candidates standing for election to be the Member of Parliament for the following constituencies:
- East Worthing and Shoreham
- Worthing West
You may be aware that I chair a residents’ action group campaigning for a proper relief road around Worthing. We are a non-political organisation - our focus is on one issue. We would be interested to know what all candidates to become a Member of Parliament’s views are on the A27 and how closely they align with the group’s views.
We plan to publish all of candidates’ responses to this message on our website which you may wish to view at www.bypassnota27throughpass.org
To be fair to all candidates, all candidates are being contacted at the same time and responses will be added to the website in the order in which they are received. This is a very unsubtle way of suggesting that the quicker you reply, the quicker your response will appear on the website. A holding message by each candidate from whom we have not yet received a response will also appear.
The Bypass Not A27 Throughpass Residents’ Action Group’s Aims are to:
A. Stop the dualling of the present A27 route through the middle of Worthing.
B Promote a full relief road for Worthing, Sompting and Lancing from Patching area along Long Furlong to Findon, north to Washington to
join a widened road past Steyning to join up with the Shoreham flyover.
C. We support the extension of the road from Fontwell along the A29 to bypass Houghton and Storrington, to join the Washington roundabout and
continue to Shoreham as above
Question to Answer – What are your views?
It would be helpful and quicker if you can respond by email to firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to your reply.
ByPass not A27 Throughpass residents’ action group
Candidates replies are listed below in the order in which they appear on the Council website:
East Worthing and Shoreham
Sophie Rose COOK, Labour Party
Michael Joseph GLENNON, UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Leslie Christine GROVES WILLIAMS, Green Party
The Green Party does not support the expansion of the A27 through Worthing. This short term solution would split the town into two, constrain access to homes and have a negative impact on non- polluting and healthy forms of transport such as walking and cycling.
The Green Party proposes long term sustainable approaches to traffic management- traffic control measures to reduce “rat running”, cycle paths and safe pavements to encourage the use of cycles and walking, particularly during rush hour and school pick up and drop off times and improved, accessible forms of public transport.
The A27 is simultaneously a local road and a national trunk road. All the potential solutions envisage making it a better trunk road, but there are problems with this approach.
A lot of current traffic that could use the A27 as a trunk road doesn't because of the congestion. This traffic uses (generally speaking) M3 or A3 (M) to/from the west, M25, and trunk roads like M20 to/from the east.
The Department of Transport's own strategy documents from 2015 refer to improvements to the A27 as a way of reducing congestion on the M25, and their research (2016) shows that 30% of the traffic that current goes up the A3(M) would instead carry on east along the A27 if it was a dual carriageway. This means that a major improvement scheme under any of the above plans would cost hundreds of millions, take years, upset many residents – and the road would be just as congested as it is now. Note that this is entirely separate to the research that shows that building or improving roads generates new traffic – this is current traffic changing its route; the newly generated traffic would just contribute to the disaster,
Currently the majority of the traffic using the A27 through and around Worthing is in fact local traffic, so any solution needs to understand this and improve the situation for that traffic. Things that could be done: longer trains for commuters; better bus services along the coast; adding segregated cycle lanes along the A27; better design of A27 junctions for local traffic to move on and off the A27; improvements to other local distributor roads such as the A259 to spread the burden.
Oliver James HENMAN, Liberal Democrats
Timothy Paul LOUGHTON, Conservative Party Candidate
Andrew James LUTWYCHE, Independent
There is no easy, if any, answer to this.
The original aim to build a major A/M27 trunk road all the way from Honiton to Folkestone will never be realised but the Adur flyover at Shoreham and the Southwick tunnel were major improvements years ago which solved problems eastwards around Brighton and now whatever happens in the future these two constructions will have to be used.
Going around Worthing is quite another matter now compared to what it was 20 years ago, made all the more difficult by such developments as Lyons Farm etc. There are so many “pinch-points” (Sussex Pad lights, North Lancing’s Manor roundabout, Busticle Lane lights, Lyons Farm, Grove Lodge roundabout, Offington Roundabout) that dualling on its own will not solve and bridge/tunnel solutions for these would be hugely expensive, deeply unpopular and very disruptive.
The IKEA and housing proposals at Monk’s Farm would take out the Sussex Pad pinch-point, but may be a big and unpopular issue for those who live on Coombes Road and Lancing College. Original proposals to go up the valley behind Hoe Court and then tunnel under Barton's Farm in North Lancing might have helped (1970/80's) but the South Downs’ National Park and cost will make that barely worth contemplating.
This leaves the Steyning bypass/Long Furlong proposal which would cost less to dual but has problems at the west end, going through Clapham and Patching re-joining the current A27 route.
From the East Worthing and Shoreham constituency viewpoint this might be preferable but it has been talked about for a long time and adequate funding needs to be provided. And I don’t want to appear to go all “Not In My Back Yard” regarding the bypass essentially avoiding the constituency in the main, the constituency options seem too problematic.
Regarding the other major thoroughfare in East Worthing and Shoreham, it’s hard to see what can be done for the A259 particularly at Shoreham. Rush hour traffic on the A283 link from A27 to A259 a huge problem that may impact on your proposed bypass solution. Good public transport is important and should be a priority. School journeys clog up local roads at morning rush hour times so is there a case for staggering starting times for schools?
Carl John WALKER, National Health Action Party
Peter James BOTTOMLEY, Conservative Party Candidate
Rebecca Claire COOPER, Labour Party
Many thanks for your letter asking for my views on the aims of The Bypass Not A27 Throughpass Residents' Action Group.
The A27 has been a major issue for Worthing for too many years and a resolution needs to be found as a matter of priority. This resolution is part of a wider transport agenda for Worthing and the surrounding area, that must address the need for efficient and affordable public transport (local rail and bus services) and increase the opportunity for people to engage in active travel for short journeys (cycling and walking). I think that if this transport strategy is carefully planned out, then there will be a clearer way forward for the future of the A27. I do not think that it is possible to agree the solution for the A27 until we have seen and understood our local transport strategy in its entirety.
Benjamin William Philip CORNISH, Green Party
Hazel Irene THORPE, Liberal Democrats
Mark Frazer WITHERS, UK Independence Party (UKIP)
My own view is that this is not just an issue for Worthing but also Arundel and Chichester. There needs to be some sort of joined up thinking to sort out the traffic congestion for all three towns in one overall project. In effect, all three need proper bypasses that clear the towns completely. I understand that the Highways Agency is proposing an upgrade in Worthing but I see that as just a sticking plaster for a much bigger problem. Nothing less than something like an elevated roadway for Worthing would seem to be a solution for through traffic, but any sort of upgrade through the town would surely cause years of congestion and traffic chaos. Therefore I see no better solution than a proper bypass not just for WorthIng but also for Arundel and Chichester. With regard to Worthing, to minimise negative effects on the countryside, the existing route using Steyning, Washington and the Long Furlong could be used. I am a user and lover of the South Downs, but realise a sensitive compromise has to be made to allow for an improvement in regional road infrastructure. The macroeconomic advantages for the region of such a comprehensive road improvement could be enormous.