Highways England and the A27

As many will know, Highways England had a scheme for roadbuilding in the Chichester area. Seemingly they were unable to reach a conclusion on route choice and therefore the scheme is held in abeyance. There is no reference to Chichester on the major schemes part of the Highways England website. Referring to Worthing and Lancing, in March 2021 Highways England said “In the coming months, we aim to identify options for the A27 Worthing and Lancing improvements scheme, before holding a public consultation in spring/summer 2022”. The other current A27 schemes are:

A27 East of Lewes: Over the last few years, there has been much talk and controversy over the possibility of a ‘motorway’ style road being constructed from Lewes to Polegate. Meanwhile, Highways England has a project underway which improves the existing road for motor vehicles, and, to a limited extent, for pedestrians in certain places. We understand this project also includes a plan to extend the C90 cycle route all the way to Polegate. Find out more.

A27 at Arundel:

The new high level elevated road will cross the Arun River approximately in the centre of this photo (photo by SDN member)

The situation is quite different at Arundel where Highways England have formally announced their preferred route for a dual carriageway via a high-level bridge over the River Arun and through the woodland, countryside and villages south of Arundel. This is called the Grey Route:

Above: Line of the new road: the green shaded area is in the South Downs National Park. Much of the grey shaded area is the countryside and rural river valley.

Highways England ignored the proposal put forward by local groups called the Arundel Alternative. This Government project is at what Highways England calls the end of “Stage 2 – option selection”, as indicated by the arrow in the Highways England chart below:

The next step will be to develop the preliminary design which will include the need to conduct surveys and investigations. As part of this process, the public’s views will be sought though there seems no intention to move away from the ‘preferred route.’

Because this scheme is classed as a ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project’ under the Planning Act 2008, Highways England will then submit an application for ‘development consent’ to the Planning Inspectorate who, after due examination, will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport. The public will have the opportunity to submit evidence at the Inspector’s examination.

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