A27 Action Plan
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 decided 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
The main objectives of the project are:
- To consider a range of affordable options which deliver
improved conditions on the A27 and reduced rat-running through
urban and rural areas in the short term. These are likely to take
the form of amendments to existing junctions and making use of
traffic signals and new technology to improve the efficiency of the
network alongside complementary local transport strategies.
- To identify a set of largely online improvements for key A27
bottlenecks at Chichester, Arundel, Worthing and Lancing, which can
be delivered within a 5-year period from approval of the plan
whilst not prejudicing longer term improvements.
- To be capable of delivery in stages using existing or emerging
- To identify an improvement strategy that ensures trunk road
improvements operate effectively together whilst also balancing the
impact on the local road network.
Progress and next steps
Preparation of the draft A27 Action Plan began in January 2013
with the main technical study work completed by July 2013. The
Technical Report, produced by consultants working on our behalf
(and which will be used to inform future discussions with
Government and local stakeholders about the nature and timing of
investment in the A27), are available under supporting
The main findings of the technical work are:
- a realistic set of proposals for ‘online’ improvements to key
junctions in Chichester, Worthing and Lancing has been identified
which could be delivered in the short term and which would have the
potential to support planned growth and improve short to medium
term network performance;
- short-term solutions are unlikely to significantly improve
performance in the Arundel area, although identified modest
‘online’ improvements are likely to be necessary to support planned
development, or other local network improvements.
However, a County Council decision on public consultation about the
short term Action Plan has been postponed following the
government’s June 2013 Spending Review announcement of 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.
The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport will report back
to the County Council later this year on details of the Highways
Agency intentions to progress the above government plans. This will
help inform decisions on our short-term Action Plan.
We will publish updates here as the project progresses.
For further information, please contact us by email or call the
Planning & Transport Policy Team on:
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,
- complete an A27 corridor study (including identifying solutions
for Worthing and Arundel).
In addition, the Highways Agency will shortly be commencing work on
developing 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.
Further information on the above plans and proposals will be
provided, or ‘sign-posted’, as it becomes known to us.
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