MP’s bid to get A27 bypass on the agenda again

MP Tim Loughton with roads minister Stephen Hammond and councillor John Rogers
MP Tim Loughton with roads minister Stephen Hammond and councillor John Rogers
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EAST Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton was joined by a Government minister, on a visit to the A27 to discuss the need for a bypass at Worthing.

Mr Loughton, who is campaigning for a solution to the traffic problems in the area, met with roads minister Stephen Hammond along with Highways Agency project manager, Peter Phillips on Friday.

A spokesman for the MP said: “Mr Loughton was delighted to welcome Stephen Hammond to his constituency to show him long-standing traffic congestion problems in Lancing and Worthing in particular, and get the issue of the A27 bypass back on the Government agenda.”

They met Mr Phillips and saw the rules of the new drainage works.

The spokesman added that Mr Hammond promised to look into the value for money study of the A27 ordered by previous transport secretary Philip Hammond and see how the figures added up against other road improvement schemes across the country.

Discussions were then held with West Sussex Highways cabinet member Pieter Montyn at Mr Luoghton’s office.

However, campaign group South Coast Against Roadbuilding (SCAR) said efforts should be concentrated on repairing existing roads before talk of a bypass.

SCAR was formed in 1994, as an umbrella group to local groups fighting the threat of more road building across the countryside.

Spokesman Ian Brooks, said: “From memory, the cost of building a downland bypass for Worthing even in 2003 would have been £1.2billion, due to the number of tunnels needed in an attempt to protect the National Park – a figure even in those pre-austerity times deemed not best value for the taxpayer. Clearly, construction costs have risen since then and there are far more pressing needs on the taxpayer’s money such as repairing the crumbling existing roads.”

He said that despite local motorists paying millions in road tax, West Sussex has some of the worst-maintained roads in the country.

He added: “Drivers are paying out their hard-earned money to replace springs and tyres damaged by potholes and sunken manhole covers, examples are in Marine parade at the bottom of Grand Avenue and opposite the New Beach hotel. Another blackspot is the area around Centenary House, Durrington”