• The Worthing-Lancing A27


      Click here to learn about the approach taken by the "SARG" local action group to improving the Worthing-Lancing A27  (SARG = Sompting A27 Rural Group).


      Following widespread rejection of Highways England's 2017 "Option 1" (of 1), we are awaiting their next move.  This page explains the background and the local issues for the rural community of Sompting.

       

      The problems created for Sompting by Highways England's mismanagement

      Sompting's village and parish have fallen victim to Highways England's concern only with their own 'strategic route', and their addiction to building expressways piecemeal regardless of the problems they cause elsewhere.  The consequences are:

      1. The present Sompting Bypass cut the community off from our countryside and historic church of St Mary's, whilst exposing our parish to the noise of speeding 70mph traffic along a short stretch of dual carriageway between traffic lights at Busticle Lane and Lyons Farm, with single carriageway 40mph traffic either side. 
      2. As a result of this high speed section, traffic gets more rapidly to the traffic lights and 40mph sections at either end of the Sompting Bypass, where, rather obviously, queues build up as a result.  This prompts traffic to rat-run through the village's West Street, causing congestion and pollution within the village. 

       


      Highways England's 2017 Worthing-Lancing A27 consultation:

      Click here for the Consultation Brochure          Click here for more information 

      Click here for South Downs Society Press Release issued 01.07.17

      The consultation proposals were not a glamorous expressway project but they were serious and pragmatic.  We're sure that given the criticisms made, Highways England will come back with something better - but not on a different alignment.  Given that two thirds of the traffic using the Worthing-Lancing A27 is local (getting from one part of Worthing/Lancing to another), Highways England rightly emphasise that the local authorities should be looking to invest in sustainable transport solutions to reduce this traffic, rather than creating a new trunk route which would only carry one-third of current traffic (so has no 'business case').


      Our main concern with Highways England's proposals, from a local point of view

      By contrast with those who would have sought a new bypass with a high speed unremitting flow, inducing more longer distance through traffic to use this route, we welcomed that the scheme as proposed maintained focus on resolving local traffic issues within the available RIS1 budget.  

      Our biggest concern in the interest of those who enjoy, live or work in rural Sompting parish north of the Sompting Bypass, is that any proposals must maintain viable access on and off the A27 from the National Park's side roads of Lambleys, Church and Dankton Lanes.   


      Bigger concerns from the wider point of view of sustainable transport

      But beyond the local concern, there is a bigger picture to consider.  Click here to read the press release about a new transport consultants report "A New Transport Vision for the Sussex Coast"

      In Dec 2020, Highways England claimed they are thinking again: but how fresh, how sustainable will it be? They are not a public-interest transport business: they are a major-road-building business and are neither capable of nor mandated to consider better, more integrated and sustainable traffic management solutions. 


       

      Representation: the Worthing-Lancing A27 Working Group

      This is a meeting of local politicians businesses and residents groups, convened by councillors and our MP.   When active until 2017, it was attended, for the Sompting-Lancing section, by Mike Tristram (or alternatives) for Sompting Estate/SARG, and by Chris Servante and later Tony Nicklen for Sompting Parish Council.  

      The WLA27WG aimed to improve the quality of dialogue with Highways England and thus to bring together broad local support for the eventually favoured option scheme.  Highways England regards these meetings as an opportunity to stimulate public advocacy for them to spend taxpayers' money on the biggest schemes for which they can get political budget approval in each instance. 

      In this case Highways England were unable to secure a bypass-scale budget because with only one-third of traffic being long distance, not enough of the traffic would transfer to a new and longer route to justify the cost. Highways England's remit and concern are not with local, only with long distance ie national needs.  Hence for Worthing-Lancing, they only got a budget suffficient for junction improvements.

      Click here for news of MPs Tim Loughton and Peter Bottomley's meeting with Chris Grayling to negotiate more money for the Worthing-Lancing scheme; click here to read the letter from Chris Grayling.

      But if a grade separated scheme with flyovers and underpasses were to be funded and approved, who would be the winners and the losers? Winners:  long distance through traffic, hauliers.  Losers might be:  local people and businesses who may find it much harder to get on off and across the A27 where we live and work.  We will need to appraise any further options with great care and concern as to these potential side effects.

      Click here for Terms of Reference of the Working Group.


      Information sources

      Click here for the Highways England Worthing-Lancing Web Page

      Click here to subscribe for selected Highways England topic updates

      Click here for the report of the July 2015 Worthing-Lancing Stakeholder Workshop

      Click here for the SOCOMMS Worthing Area Development Strategy 2002

      Click here for the 1996 A27 Worthing Bypass Inspector's Report

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