Flooding between Worthing and Shoreham on A27 causes concerns

W01545H13 WH LANCING FLOODING PIC S.G. 27.12.2012''Lancing Flooding A27
W01545H13 WH LANCING FLOODING PIC S.G. 27.12.2012''Lancing Flooding A27

Residents have faced renewed motoring misery on the A27 between Worthing and Shoreham, as significant flooding forced the closure of one of its lanes.

This comes despite hundreds of thousands of pounds being spent on major works over the past few months – that had been specifically designed to deal with drainage.

The Highways Agency has blamed “three weeks’ worth of rain in the space of days” as being responsible for the lane closure, which came into effect last Sunday.

But unimpressed residents and councillors have voiced their concern at the works, which have over-run and are not expected to be completed until next month.

In addition, drivers have also had to contend with further delays on the A27, as eastbound sections near Chichester have been affected by further flooding during the past week.

Andy Brook, of North Lancing Community Association, felt there had already been considerable inconvenience felt by residents over the A27 roadworks.

He said: “We have been resigned to this happening, but much of the area around Lancing College has springs which result in water near the A27.

“I think it will be a disappointment to people that, although there have been works done there, we’ve seen more flooding.”

Sompting Parish councillor Chris Servante felt the closure of an eastbound lane of the A27 was of considerable concern to many in the area.

He said: “This is a very sad state of affairs. After all the hard work that seems to have been put into it, the works seem to have failed.

“I avoid using the A27, as I think it has just become a race track and is no longer fit for the purpose it was designed for.”

East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton has inspected the works since October, and admitted early phases had prompted a number of complaints to his office over the delays which residents and businesses faced.

He revealed he had himself been caught in the roadworks over the past few months. But he hoped the flooding issues would be resolved once the works have been completed, which has included additional drainage works at New Monks Farm in Lancing.

The main Highways Agency works have included the installing a series of new drains, which it explained had come under considerable strain.

A spokesperson for the agency said exceptional weather conditions were responsible for the flooding, but that its engineers were working hard to resolve the situation.

She said: “We are working very hard to clear the flooding which has blocked one lane the eastbound A27 near Shoreham. Lane-two remains passable with care.

“Over last weekend we experienced the equivalent of three average weeks’ of rainfall, which means the ground is saturated. This, combined with a high water table and low lying flood plain in the area, means there is simply nowhere for the water to go.

“In the new year, we will complete the scheme to improve drainage between Lancing and Shoreham which will cope with heavy rainfall, and so benefit road users.

“But the amount of water any drainage system can take is finite, in exceptional conditions as we have now, and we urge drivers to drive with extra care while we work to clear the water.”