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A27 Action Plan

Background information

The A27 is the only major east-west road along the South Coast, linking Brighton, Worthing, Chichester, Portsmouth, Southampton, and beyond. It is managed and operated by the Highways Agency on behalf of the Government and is one of the most unreliable trunk roads in England.

This unreliability affects the performance of the local economy as the A27 constrains much needed development and causes delays for businesses, residents and visitors to West Sussex. The West Sussex Transport Plan 2011-2026 prioritises improvements to the main bottlenecks on the A27 at Chichester, Arundel, Worthing, and Lancing.

In late 2012 there appeared no obvious prospect of Government intervention to determine significant, appropriate solutions and it was likely that improvements to the A27 would continue to be delayed. We therefore engaged consultants to prepare a short term Action Plan for the A27 that would be capable of supporting local economic growth and bringing forward planned development needed to meet local needs.

This work was completed in 2013 and concluded that a realistic set of short-term, affordable proposals could be delivered for key junctions at Chichester, Arundel, Worthing and Lancing but similar short term solutions would not significantly improve performance in the Arundel area (although modest ‘online’ improvements would likely be necessary to support planned development, or other local network improvements). A presentation and the technical report for this work are available under supporting documents.

However, the above short-term plan has not progressed to the consultation stage because, in its June 2013 Spending Review, government announced new plans to upgrade the A27 Chichester Bypass in the period 2015-2019 and to complete an A27 corridor study, including identifying solutions for Worthing and Arundel, also in 2015 to 2019.

Supporting documents


Current progress and next steps

A27 Chichester Bypass – The Highways Agency is currently undertaking preparatory work for a scheme options assessment and consultation phase. Subject to central government approval, a public consultation might be staged in the next year.

A27 Corridor Study (including solutions for Arundel and Worthing/Lancing) – An initial scoping and evidence gathering phase has recently concluded.  An options identification stage is underway, expected to be presented to ministers later this year.

Publicity Campaign – An 'A27 Action' publicity campaign, led by the County Council, will be staged over summer and early autumn 2014 with the aim of unifying the call from the business and local community and local government for appropriate solutions to A27 improvement needs in West Sussex.

Further information

We will publish updates here as the project progresses.

For further information, please contact the Planning and Transport Policy Team:

Email Email: ltp@westsussex.gov.uk
Phone Phone: 01243 642105

Recent History of the A27 in West Sussex

Following the Secretary of State for Transport’s rejection of the South Coast Multi Modal Study (SoCoMMS) recommendations in 2003, the Highways Agency worked with the County Council, other local authorities and statutory environmental bodies to develop a local strategy and improvement options for the A27 Chichester bypass.

These options were the subject of a local public consultation held in late 2004/early 2005. Information on the strategy and options presented is available on the Highways Agency’s website. Following a cost review in 2009, these proposals were not progressed further.

In its June 2013 Spending Review central government announced intentions, for the period 2015 to 2019, to:

  • upgrade the six junctions of the A27 Chichester Bypass, and

  • complete an A27 corridor study (including identifying solutions for Worthing and Arundel).

In addition, the Highways Agency has commenced work on a regional Route-Based Strategy (a new approach to investment planning which will identify operational, maintenance and enhancement priorities for trunk roads) which will include the A27 and M23/A23 in West Sussex. The evidence gathering phase has been recently completed and work on identifying solutions and determining a Route Based Strategy for the South Central area is anticipated to commence later this year.

Further information on the above plans and proposals will be provided, or ‘sign-posted’, as it becomes known to us.

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