MP Sir Peter Bottomley has slammed a suggestion that a toll should be placed on the A27 to help pay for its improvements.
The issue of improving, and potentially tolling, the A27 was raised by Nicholas Soames, Conservative MP for Mid Sussex, in written Parliamentary questions.
He asked what consideration had been given to improving and tolling the A27.
In his response, parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport Michael Penning said: “We are happy to look at schemes which would fund new capacity and improve the UK’s infrastructure through tolling – and would be willing to discuss any local proposals.”
Although there are currently no plans to toll the A27 or M27, Sir Peter said any consideration to toll the A27 was “completely stupid”.
He said: “Since the 1980s, Worthing has been badly affected by the through traffic on the A27.
“People use the road as a rat run, and it ends in death and serious injury.
“Not only that, the congestion is horrendous for local residents.”
Sir Peter added residents are already paying enough towards their roads, before any tolls are put in place.
“People pay enough in road tax and fuel duty,” he said.
“Not only that, people are paying with their lives, their broken bodies and their health.
“Something needs to be done about the A27, but tolling is not the answer.
“It is about as stupid as putting a toll on the A3 towards Portsmouth.”
Shoppers in Worthing town centre on Tuesday (December 6) were also against the idea of a toll on the A27.
Josh Pomerey, 18, from Shoreham, said: “There’s no need to put a toll on the A27.
“It’s just another way to try to get more money out of us.
“That’s all they want.”
Lyn Riley, 66, from Angmering, said: “I think a toll will only make congestion worse on the A259.
“I use the A27 every day and I would not be prepared to pay to use it. It will damage business for the town centre.”
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