West Sussex County Council Candidates Views on the A27
We wrote to all county council candidates standing for election in Divisions around the Worthing and Lancing area which include or are very close to the A27. The letter was sent to candidates in the following Divisions:
- Durrington and Salvington
- Sompting and North Lancing
Dear West Sussex County Council Candidate,
Your views about changes to the A27
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 County Council candidates views are on the A27 and how closely they align with the group’s views.
We plan to publish all of the Worthing and Lancing area’s County Council 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 prospective 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, for example
County Council Division A
Candidate Name and Party 1 Response listed below
Candidate Name and Party 2 – Awaiting response
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 West Sussex County Council Website
APSEY John Christopher, Liberal Democrats
Thanks for the chance to express a summary of my views re the problems with the A27.
Any solution has to take into account both local and through traffic. If the surveys are correct and about 70% of the traffic is local, then a route via Washington will not solve the problem. If more money is available (perhaps from the cancellation of the Chichester bypass) then other solutions should be considered such as some tunnels under West Hill and Cissbury and crossing the A24 at the Worthing boundary.
BATTSON Richard Denham, Green Party
Thanks for your letter.
I live just off the A27 in Downlands Avenue and cross it regularly to go walking on the downs. With central bollards and cars doing 20-30 mph and some willing to give way it is easy to cross. Dont want a fast duasl carriageway. The noise would be terrific as well as the visual intrusion and barrier to me as a walker and cyclist. I dont own a car so have not experienced delays. I recommend that many more people do without a car or car share so the traffic volume can be reduced. I am not convinced that a road via Washington would entice drivers to use it. Each of us really does have to reconsider their lifestyle if we are to limit global warming and have a sustainable planet earth into the future.
BEAUMONT Lorna Elizabeth, Labour Party
Thank you for your letter. The A27 is an issue that has pained residents of Lancing, Worthing, and Chichester for many years and increasingly as time goes by. I would support the building of a bypass round Worthing and think that this should be made a priority by central government. The effects of the A27 traffic congestion on residents’ health and well being, not to mention the negative effects on the environment, should be enough to demand funds come to the area instead of continued lack of action. There are some interim measures such as a bridge over to Worthing College which would mean the traffic lights could be removed at Grove Lodge and decrease congestion, which leads to daily dangerously high levels of pollution. These plans have to work in conjunction with better public transport provisions and cycle networks to ultimately reduce the number of cards on the roads.
GOULD Christopher Stuart Wilfrid, UK Independence Party (UKIP)
I feel that it is essential that traffic flows quickly for the sake of business as well as improving the quality of life for everyone. The present situation is unacceptable. Many man hours are wasted, people get frustrated and accidents happen. Quickly moving traffic causes far less pollution than when it is stationary. Therefore I am fully in favour of your aims. I think that money should be made available for it. It is ridiculous that foreign aid is sent to places like India, China and North Korea. It should be spent here.
I like your route using the Long Furlong. However I don’t know how your route from Fontwell would by pass Houghton and Storrington. Please let me know how you would do this.
I prefer your route, but I have devised an alternative option that would ease the congestion from Offington Corner to Lyons Farm without encroaching on the cemetery or peoples gardens. The Grove Lodge roundabout and the Lyons Farm junction would not need to be altered, although they could do with improving.
The idea is a flyover for East/West through traffic above the existing road that would still carry local traffic. The through traffic would travel quickly to the Sompting by pass and approximately halve the amount of traffic on the lower road.
The topography of Offington corner is ideal for the West end as it is in a valley and there is waste ground on the South side that could be used. Travelling East down Crockhurst hill the two lanes would become three below the last house on the South side. The extra lane would be on the South side and there would be a slip road onto it for Westerly traffic to get onto the A27. The North side lane would remain as it is for local traffic. The two middle lanes would continue horizontally over the round a bout and rise above Warren Hill and continue above the existing road until past Lyons Farm. There is already a slip road travelling West wards from Warren Hill that could be adapted for the top road. The existing centre lane would be for local traffic. The round a bout would be elongated Southwards and the end of the slip road would need to be moved South wards to get it away from the local exit. Unfortunately the junction of Goodwood Road with the round a bout would have to be blocked off.
It should be possible for the Southerly traffic from the A24 to access the flyover at the Offington round a bout. There might be room to add an extra lane on the A24 where the grass verge and stone wall are. This would give access to the lower roads. The existing left hand lane could then rise up and turn left to provide access to the top road.
If there is not room for this, Southerly traffic from North of Washington could be diverted round the Steyning by pass and down to Shoreham. Findon Village traffic could get onto the top road via the Long Furlong. Findon Valley traffic could use Bost Hill and Salvington Hill. The West End Gate of the Cemetery would need to be locked to stop the Cemetery being used as a rat run.
An alternative for local traffic would be another round a bout added at the junction of Durrington Hill and Salvington Hill with the A27. This would help with access and egress from these roads. It would also allow the Southerly traffic from the A24 to turn right onto the A27, go round the round a bout and back onto the top road to Lancing.
From the top of Warren Hill the flyover would be off set over the grass verges to allow supports for it on both sides of the road. This will avoid it encroaching on people’s property. As it is at a high level pull off areas could be provided.
The upper road would come down to ground level after Lyons Farm onto the existing four lanes. There would be enough space before the Hill Barn junction for vehicles to change from one lane to another. West wards traffic from Hill Barn would take the right hand lane for through traffic and local traffic would take the left.
The supports and structure could be pre fabricated to reduce the building time.
TURNER Bryan, The Conservative Party Candidate
CRANEFIELD Jackie, Liberal Democrats
FITCHETT Adam, UK Independence Party (UKIP)
HOWARD Margaret Ann, Labour Party
The A27 is an increasingly used road and the traffic congestion and air pollution resulting from that will continue to have a negative impact on drivers and the local community. The building of a superstore and more houses along the route will only make matters worse. Whichever solution is found, it will have to consider both the positive and negative implications, with the aim of finding a compromise that satisfies the most people and interferes with the lives of the least. I fully support the view that the A27 should not be widened as the local impact would be too onerous and importantly it will only serve to temporarily fix the problem. Furthermore the environmental affects would continue to increase. If costing were not an issue, then excavating a tunnel under the A27 would cause the least disruption if it started and finished in areas without housing, such as East of Worthing along the Sompting bypass and West of Durrington just prior to Forest Lane. Failing that my personal opinion is that a bypass would be preferable to widening the road to the detriment of all the local residents and users of the road.
PARSONAGE Daniel John, Green Party
SPARKES Elizabeth, The Conservative Party Candidate
Thank you for your letter and for taking the time to write to me.
The proposals currently being prepared by Highways England for improvements to the A27 present one of our greatest imminent challenges. I understand that Highways England will publish their formal proposal in the summer which will be followed by a full public consultation.
I represent the residents of Offington on the Borough Council, an area comprising Offington, Charmandean and Findon Valley. Any proposal to widen the road through Worthing would compromise the lives of my residents on a daily basis and I would never support any suggestion of on-line dualling. As I have clearly stated in my election literature, any prospect of dividing Worthing in half with a dual carriageway is unthinkable. I live in Charmandean, in close proximity to the A27 on the north side, so can assure you that this is a huge priority for me, my neighbours and all those I represent. I am determined that whatever the proposal from Highways England, the views of the residents of Cissbury Division will be properly represented as part of this consultation.
A Bypass to Worthing via a relief road would of course be an ideal solution, but it is likely that suggestion will be made by Highways England to only improve the 'pinch points' along the A27 at Lyons Farm, Grove Lodge and Offington Roundabout. If this is the case, the impact of these will need to be carefully considered as to how residents will be affected both during and after any construction works. I attended the County Local Committee meeting last Autumn in my role as a Borough Councillor and made a formal proposal to West Sussex County Council Highways that they work with Highways England to remove the traffic lights at the Grove Lodge Roundabout and build a pedestrian footbridge. This could be built on the land at the end of Offington Avenue which is owned by the County Council and may relieve some of the traffic congestion in the area and try to alleviate the high levels of pollution along this road.
You will be aware that I attended a meeting of The Bypass Not A27 Throughpass Group at your house last summer where I recall it was agreed by those present that although a proper A27 relief road is sought, it may be that we must continue to fight for this as a long term aim whilst considering some 'pinch point' improvements at present.
I look forward to continuing to work with you to achieve the best result for our community.
Durrington and Salvington
ATKINS Noel Anthony, The Conservative Party Candidate
In response to your letter of 12 April
A. I agree that we should not continue with the dualling of the present A27 route through Worthing
B. & C. I would dearly love to see a bypass around Worthing but unfortunately this is currently not on the table.
However I am waiting for the publication of Highways England report on the A27 due out this summer which will then go out to full public consultation for us all to make all our views known.
CARLEYSMITH Stephen Wardle, Green Party
More motor traffic along the A27 through Worthing will increase noise, both day and night. Air pollution limits are already breached along the route and more vehicles will inevitably worsen air quality in the town. A busier A27 will attract more vehicles along feeder roads inside the town. It is now well known that increasing road capacity attracts more traffic until delays return and drivers are deterred. Any increase in capacity of the A27 will give only a temporary reduction in journey times. Furthermore, increased flow of motor traffic will have to be at the expense of ease of movement of pedestrians and cyclists, and will create a barrier through the town restricting north-south movement. For all these reasons, Worthing Green Party does not support the expansion of the A27 through Worthing. We note that the proposed expansion of the Chichester bypass has been abandoned, as should the proposed enlargement of the A27 through Worthing.
Furthermore, WGP does not endorse the expansion or dualling of roads north Worthing because of the detrimental impact on communities and the South Downs national park.
CHADWICK Guy, Labour Party
I welcome the opportunity to provide my personal views on the proposed options for the A27. I have lived close to the A27 for the past 17 years and like many so thousands of commuters have to face the daily grind during peak times making my way through one end of Worthing to the other. My role as operations manager for a national animal welfare charity which covers the south east of England and East Anglia allows me the joy of experiencing our road network in all its beauty and I am continually frustrated why funds are not made available to deal with the chaos that is the A27 from Chichester through to Lancing. The millions of pounds lost in travel delays and the increased risk of air pollution is beyond reason which is why I support the plans for a bypass around Worthing instead of a dual carriageway through Worthing as a matter of urgency.
The costs of a bypass will of course be higher than the alternative options but this could be offset against the impact caused by congestion and the potential exposure to pollution and the capital costs could be funded by scrapping Trident or the white elephant that will be HS2. I would not be adverse to charging for the use of it with concessions for local people similar in the way to the French AutoRoute Tolls. The issue over the A27 has spanned an inordinate amount of time and the indecision by the Highways Agency, local and national government to come up with a viable solution is nothing short of a disgrace.
JELLISS Mike, UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Many years ago I heard about the Honiton to Folkestone Trunk Road, which I thought was a good idea, If the powers that be had gone ahead with it we wouldn't be in this mess now.
Dualling of the present A27 or just dealing with the pinch points would do no good at all. In fact it would only add to the pollution and feed more traffic on to the already struggling local roads.
The Government must be made to bite the bullet and provide the finance. If it can find the money for Hs2 it can find the money for the A27 Worthing bypass.
A bypass is the only workable option. The continual building of houses without the infrastructure to support them is idiotic.
The Bypass Not A27 Throughpass group has my full support.
THORPE Hazel Irene, Liberal Democrats
I have lived and worked in the area for 20+ years and I am currently a governor at Worthing College and therefore empathise with local residents’ views.
Unfortunately the nub of the problem is , especially for the people of Worthing, who live alongside or near it - that there are so many conflicting views and perspectives on what should and what could ( constrained by money) be done in the short term and the long term.
Personally, I would ideally favour a bypass / tunnel which whilst in the short term it would cause tremendous confusion and disturbance and angst to residents - in the longer term given time to recover the environmental factors of which I am very aware, it would be the effective solution. As stated in the report section 7.3.2 “ Nevertheless putting the A27 into a tunnel would reduce the visual impact on properties, especially to the south of the Arundel Road and would allow for redevelopment of the land to the north of the tunnel and planting on land above the tunnel”
Compulsory purchase of the houses, however would cause even more stress on our local housing market and the owners themselves. In the last enquiry it was predicted that 99 houses would be negatively affected. Considering our lack of decent housing for Worthing families where will these replacement properties be found?
Regarding the relief road suggested – this seems to reflect some of the aspects of the Sompting link road also suggested in the original plan. Section 10.1.7 states “It would bring significant traffic, economic and environmental benefits to both the locality and road user generally”. If this is the case then I would be supportive of it. I firmly believe that Planning policy should reflect local needs first - not fitting local needs to policy agreed by the Councils. I am happy to listen to the experts in this field.
I understand from several sources that a young man stood up at the recent public meeting and described a less formidable solution regarding the lights at the Grove Lodge roundabout. I would certainly support his proposals and favour a bridge to enable the public and students alike to cross safely to the golf course, the football ground and the college etc.
It has been made clear that because groups can't agree on a compromise that we are likely to get an even less sympathetic solution and certainly less money. I have read the full reports of the studies made over the past few years and rather like the brexit situation - we will have to compromise at some stage.
I suspect that left to the controlling Conservatives - all we will get is a widening of the roads to create another lane. If this was to be done I'd like to see an overarching policy of including proper cycle lanes and pedestrian walk ways.
Ironically the previous report states “ Do Nothing or Do –Minumum is not an option” – this still applies today.
ARTHUR Roger John, UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Below is my response to your questionnaire dated 12th April, which should be seen in the context of my strategic comments further below.
A. Stop the dualling of the present A27 route through the middle of Worthing.
The upgrading of A27 pinch points (rather than dualling) should improve traffic flow, reducing congestion and pollution, pending the provision of new alternative E-W route(s).
B. Promote a full relief road for Worthing, Sompting and Lancing, from Patching area along Long Furlong, to Findon (then) North to Washington to join a widened road past Steyning, to join up with the Shoreham Flyover.
These improvements would be needed, before upgrading of the A27 pinch points begins. That should to avoid excessive A27 congestion, while the upgrading work is in progress.
C. We support the extension of the road from Fontwell along the A29 to bypass Houghton and Storrington.
This could counter air pollution problems in Storrington, but improvements under B above alone should reduce traffic volumes there. In view of likely budget constraints, Project C could be deferred – at least until the improvements from project B have been evaluated.
A strategic view and long-term impacts.
Proposal for a BNA27T (Bypass not A27 Throughpass)
1. Clearly the project B proposal would take “through traffic” away from existing villages and towns along the A27, reducing rat run traffic pollution and congestion, which would clearly be positive for the residents there.
2. But i) how much A27 through traffic would be diverted, ii) how much would the proposal cost, iii) how many on the route then be exposed to unacceptable congestion and pollution, iv) would the disruption be significant over an extended period, v) for how long is the capacity of the upgraded roads likely to be adequate?
The answers should be fed into a cost/benefit analysis for all options, to see which one offers best bang for buck, allowing for likely budget constraints.
3. If A27 traffic volumes really are expected to continue falling, then the BNA27T proposal may be adequate for years to come. Since traffic volume projections will be critical, they should be reviewed and re-validated.
4. If traffic volumes do subsequently increase and upgrading of A27 pinch points proceeds, then the BNA27T option would be able to take a lot of the E-W through traffic, minimising disruption during the pinch point upgrading work. If so then the BNA27T is more likely to offer more long term value for money.
5. But, if not, then a longer-term objective will surely be to move the A27 through-traffic away from existing towns and villages. If that is the case, then we should grasp that nettle now and also push for a completely new bypass, in the form of a new expressway, or motorway, for the long term.
6. In any event, we should defer further major housing development (pending road improvements) to avoid raising congestion and pollution to unacceptable levels. For now the NNPF does not facilitate that as it drives Local Authorities to meet arbitrary and unattainable 5 year land supply targets. We will need to fight that.
7. So is the BNA27T proposal intended to be a long term solution, considering the points made above, or not, and does it represent the best bang for buck? Also in terms of a reality check, is the money likely to be available for any of the options and is a completely new motorway or expressway likely to be resisted by the National Parks Authority?
BRIDGES Ann, The Conservative Party Candidate
COWEN Lee Andrew, Labour Party
HENDY Paul John, The Green Party
I recognise the importance of the A27 to residents and the local economy. The world has moved on since it was last upgraded in Worthing decades ago and we need to ensure that any changes made are right for the community and meet high environmental standards now and into the future.
Rather than see expansion of the A27, I would like to see improvements in public transport and encourage the use of non-polluting forms of transport like cycling; this could be done by improving the cycle lanes, keeping cyclists and cars apart, making pavements and paths safer for pedestrians to use. Remove the lights at the Grove Lodge roundabout and install a bridge to enable the safe movement of pedestrians to and from the college.
Any expansion of the A27 by duelling the current road would only create extra pollution in the town. A full relief road would increase air pollution to the countryside and bring extra noise. It would place a scar across the ‘Southdowns National Park’ and open up the area for development.
We have a responsibility to protect the National Park for the future and whilst there are no easy answers my clear preference is towards the changes to the existing route I have mentioned. I will consider seriously any other proposals which would reduce the pollution and hazards of slow moving traffic on the outskirts of the town.
MARTIN Doris Geraldine, Liberal Democrats
Reference your letter received today I can answer for all the Lib-Dem. county candidates in Adur as your proposals are so close to our own policy that it can only be common sense. Notwithstanding that even if the by pass was built tomorrow the existing road will still need attention especially if the proposed house building and associated developments take place in Lancing and Sompting. I hope this is of some assistance to you.
BENNETT Jamie Frank, Liberal Democrats
DAVIS Adrienne, Labour Party
MCDONALD Sean, The Conservative Party Candidate
WARRICK Julian Lawrence, Green Party
Personally, having lived in Worthing and having been a distribution driver for 10 years I will say that the condition of most roads within the borough and beyond have been blighted by more and more heavy traffic as more people choose to make purchases on line rather than their weekly shopping of the past. We have also seen a huge increase of developments in and around Worthing with families expanding. I thing you'll agree that in most cases there was a need for housing and the government's figures for the amount of housing in West Sussex was high, Although more social housing would be a better advantage.
I believe that although a better road network would be better for Worthing and its residents , sensitivity and air quality has got to be foremost. Worthing Green Party will work hard for the benefit of all residents of Worthing and surrounding areas to promote a long term sustainable transport system including a greater public transport system. Further more, we would be willing to see more distribution managed by rail network rather than roam. DfT research is showing that more traffic would migrate from M25 to A27 if the road network becomes equivalent to such roads.
I would also support our Worthing Green Councillor in saying that any road improvement would have to have suitable network for public transport, cycling and pedestrian safety as its priority.
I hope this helps some of the questions you ask. Please take a few minutes to read statements made on our website at Worthing Green Party. Org
WITHERS Mark Frazer, 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.
I have just drafted a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport concerning this issue.
Sompting and North Lancing
BARTON George Ronald, The Conservative Party Candidate
Liviing, as I do, in the middle of the areas most notorious Rat Run (West Street Sompting) I am fully supportive of the proposals suggested by your Group.
From the press releases in the Herald and radio interviews broadcast, you may have noted that I have been "in the thick of it" in organising public protests and public meetings in Sompting on this very subject and whether or not I am elected to the County Council, I will continue in my efforts.
CREED Steve, Liberal Democrats
GROVES WILLIAMS Leslie Christine, The Green Party
I do 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.
LOWE Patrick, UK Independence Party (UKIP)
THORNTON Michael John, Labour Party