When Highways England announced its vision for the A27 between Worthing and Lancing, it received a frosty reception.
Months after an announcement on the next steps was due, the area is still waiting for news.
Highways England presented just one £69m option for the stretch at a public consultation in July, 2017, involving tweaks to six busy junctions.
According to its own web page, the organisation planned to confirm its ‘preferred route announcement in late 2017/early 2018’, while the area’s MPs indicated January was the due date.
This was pushed back until after the local elections and in May, at the announcement of the Arundel bypass, Valerie Stephens, senior project manager at Highways England, said news on the Worthing Bypass would come before June. Speaking at the time, she said: “It isn’t a terribly popular option so we need to make sure we have done all we can.”
Jack Delbridge, chairman of the Bypass Not A27 Throughpass group, said: “It’s now the middle of June and we have heard nothing from them, despite Arundel being presented with a bypass. Highways England needs to come up with a plan for a proper bypass for Worthing and Lancing.”
Neil Parkin, leader of Adur District Council, said: “I don’t mind how long I have to wait, as long as it is something worth waiting for. I just hope we are not waiting in vain, because after the last disappointment where we waited for years, it was a damp squib, to put it very politely – a complete waste of time.”
Dan Humphreys, leader of Worthing Borough Council, said Highways needed to scrap their plan. He said: “We are opposed to the so-called ‘preferred option’. We don’t believe it will make any difference to travel times through Worthing, it will be massively disruptive and expensive, and this isn’t what Worthing wants.”
A Highways England spokesman said: “Highways England is proposing to increase capacity at key junctions in Worthing and Lancing to help reduce journey times and improve safety. These improvements will reduce congestion and improve journeys for the 32,000 drivers that use the A27 each day as well as improve access for pedestrians and cyclists. The scheme will also support economic growth and future development in the south east.
“We are grateful for people’s input into our options consultation last year and we look forward to making an announcement on a preferred option soon.”