Residents pack hall for key A27 meeting

Organisers Helen Silman, John Hughes, and Maggie Winter of the Adur and worthing Resident's Alliance.

People turned out in force yesterday evening to have their say on the future of the A27 at a residents’ association meeting.

The Adur and Worthing Resident’s Alliance held a public forum at The Vale School, in Vale Avenue, Findon Valley, to discuss alternative solutions to plans to make the A27 a four-lane dual carriageway across the county by 2023, with the aim of reducing traffic congestion. But there were concerns from members of the public that hundreds of homes and green space could be lost if the plans go ahead.

Maggie Winter, of Findon Valley Residents’ Association said to the audience: “We feel like you are not being involved and we want to tell you what is going on.

“We want to know all of your views and reach a conclusion as to what the A27 could look like in the future.”

Many people felt there had been a lack of communication between the public and Highways England – the aurhoirty responsible for the A27 – as to the development of the plans.

One man called for a government petition, claiming that letters to Highways England had so far proved ‘ineffective’, while another claimed MP Tim Loughton was trying to push the plans through before the next General Election.

Louise Murphy, borough councillor for Offington, asked residents to communicate more with local councils. She said: “One thing is clear: if the A27 remains as it is, it is only going to get worse.”

John Hughes, of the North Durrington Residents’ Group, said: “One of the best things someone ever came up to me and said was that ‘this road development has been going on for so long, I feel like it must have been started by the Romans.” There was a show of hands in favour of a northern bypass route, that would stretch from the A280 Long Furlong Road across to Steyning, meaning the highway would bypass Worthing and Lancing completely.

Helen Silman, of High Salvington Residents’ Association announced she had been invited to speak at the next Highways England stakeholders’ meeting, and would be taking ideas from the meeting with her.

She said: “There was not one person in favour of a dual carriageway in Worthing.

“Not one person supported it tonight.”

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