TIM LOUGHTON: Transport a hot topic

Tim Loughton

Tim Loughton

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I have just published my latest constituency e-newsletter, which you can find on my website, where you can also sign up to receive it directly every month.

It includes dates for upcoming constituency surgeries and street surgeries as usual.

After the Summer recess, there are a number of updates about the Southern Rail situation and work on the A27 in particular. As I have mentioned before, Sir Peter Bottomley and I have been inundated with emails and letters from understandably concerned residents who attended a public meeting by a new anti-A27 online improvement group addressed by two speakers representing groups which oppose all new road building.

Sir Peter and I attended a meeting of the A27 Working Group chaired by Tom Wye last week, to which the chairman of this new group was invited for a full briefing including updates from Highways England. Minutes from that meeting will be online soon and we will be inviting residents to a public meeting on the A27 in Worthing at the end of October, where officials from Highways England have specifically been invited this time.

Essentially the main points, however, are as follows:-

• Scare stories about four to six-lane highways caused by full dualling are just that, scare stories.

• Speed limits are unlikely to be altered much, if at all.

• No compulsory purchases of property have been made and indeed cannot be made until the final proposals have been signed off by the Transport Secretary. It is likely that this will be only a limited necessity in any case.

• No applications for planning permission for changes have been made and again this cannot happen until the final proposals have been settled.

• Any work is unlikely to include major structural additions like flyovers.

• If more effective options can be achieved beyond the indicated budget for the work then further funding options can be explored which is where the MPs can play a useful part.

• The work on the Arundel section of the A27 is at a parallel stage with the Worthing-Shoreham section so it is important that they are complementary and do not just shift the blockages.

• If you would like to get in touch with me, please write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or email me at loughtont@parliament.uk

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