West Sussex Transport Plan

Details of our strategy for future investment in our highways and transport infrastructure for 2022-2036.

1 About the plan

The West Sussex Transport Plan (WSTP) is the County Council’s main policy on transport and supports delivery of Our Council Plan and its priorities. It was adopted on 1 April 2022.

The WSTP sets out how the County Council intends to address key challenges by improving, maintaining and managing the transport network in the period up to 2036. We will do this by working with our strategic partners, particularly in relation to funding.

To address climate change we urgently need to reduce transport emissions, but transport is part of almost every aspect of our lives. This includes how we work, socialise, access education and services. We must plan for our future transport needs in order to protect and enhance our beautiful and prosperous county.

The plan contains five thematic and eight area transport strategies which are intended to deliver the plan's objectives covering the following four themes:

  • Prosperous West Sussex
  • Healthy West Sussex
  • Protected West Sussex
  • Connected West Sussex

The full plan is available below. You can also view a summary of its contents on the following pages.

West Sussex Transport Plan 2022-36 (PDF, 4.6MB)

Reference copies are available in our libraries.

Information on how we keep track of our Transport Plan will be added to our Transport Plan monitoring page.

We published the Draft West Sussex Transport Plan (WSTP) 2022-2036 for consultation from 16 July to 8 October 2021. Visit our consultation page for further information.

The consultation report and supporting documents to the WSTP are available below:

Transport policy consultation responses

Visit our Transport policy consultations page to view our responses to consultations from other organisations.

Contact details

Please contact us if you would like to find out about our previous transport plans.

2 The challenge

The transport network, comprised of infrastructure and services, is an enabler of movement by a range of modes of transport. This enables people to access education, healthcare, employment and leisure facilities. It also enables businesses to access staff and customers, and visitors to come to West Sussex.

Use of the transport network and issues that affect transport network performance can contribute to economic performance and environmental issues such as climate change. A ‘predict and provide’ approach (building road capacity to cater for forecast traffic growth) could have a negative impact upon other challenges. Parts of West Sussex are also protected for their environmental qualities. Therefore, the challenge is to enable and accelerate the shift to more sustainable patterns of travel behaviour.

The scale of the challenge to decarbonise the transport network is significant and one which the County Council cannot achieve alone. Decarbonising the transport system will require a step change in the approach to investment and a more integrated approach to spatial and transport planning. Success in meeting this challenge will be dependent on the actions of the County Council alongside third parties involved in funding and delivery. It will also be dependent on transport network users making zero or low carbon emission choices about how to travel.

You can view more detail on the challenges in section 1 of the plan, pages 11-12.

3 Key issues

A number of key issues have been identified that the plan seeks to address:

  • climate change
  • local environmental impacts
  • spatially variable economic performance
  • development and regeneration pressures and opportunities
  • growing and ageing population
  • public health and well-being
  • access to services
  • transport network performance issues.

The key issues identified within the plan can be viewed in section 4 on pages 20-35.

4 Our vision

"A West Sussex transport network in 2036 that works for communities in the Coastal West Sussex, Gatwick Diamond and Rural West Sussex economic areas by helping to address the spatial economic challenges of the County, level up the coastal economy and provide access to employment and services countywide.

The transport network will be on a pathway to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 through more local living, increased use of electric vehicles and reduced use of fossil-fuels. It will also be safer, more efficient and resilient overall with more walking, cycling and use of public or shared transport and less congestion on major routes that connect West Sussex towns with Gatwick Airport, London and nearby cities.

The transport network will connect communities and allow residents to live healthy lifestyles with good access to the West Sussex coast and the protected South Downs, High Weald and Chichester Harbour.

Active travel modes, public or shared transport will be attractive options in built up areas and between towns, and rural communities will have access to the services they need.

Transport impacts such as air pollution, noise and rat-running on adjacent communities and the environment will be minimised to protect a quality of life that reflects the characteristics of the county."

5 Objectives

In order to deliver the vision, we have developed seventeen objectives that will need to be achieved. These will guide our approach to improving and maintaining the transport network in West Sussex:

Prosperous West Sussex

  • Objective 1: Sustainable economic prosperity
  • Objective 2: Accommodate planned development

Healthy West Sussex

  • Objective 3: Accommodate demographic change
  • Objective 4: Avoid and minimise impacts on public health
  • Objective 5: Enable healthy lifestyles
  • Objective 6: Ensure access to services

Protected West Sussex

  • Objective 7: Achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050
  • Objective 8: Avoid and minimise impacts on the environment
  • Objective 9: Enhance biodiversity
  • Objective 10: Adapt to climate change

Connected West Sussex

  • Objective 11: Reduce the need to travel by car
  • Objective 12: Improve road network efficiency
  • Objective 13: Minimise impacts of access to Gatwick Airport
  • Objective 14: Improve rail services
  • Objective 15: Improve bus network efficiency
  • Objective 16: Improve bus network coverage
  • Objective 17: Extend and improve active travel facilities

You can view more information about our objectives in section 5 of the plan, pages 36-40.

6 Thematic transport strategies

Our vision and environmental, social, economic and transport objectives will be delivered through five thematic strategies and area transport strategies for each planning area in West Sussex.

Active Travel Strategy

This is intended to facilitate greater use of active travel modes (for example, walking and cycling). Our approach and priorities are to extend and improve the network of active travel facilities, providing segregation where necessary. This will require funding and partnership working to identify priorities and deliver improvements. If opportunities arise, we will work with partners to deliver skills training and promotion initiatives.

You can view the full text of the Active Travel Strategy in section 6 of the plan, pages 41-44.

Shared Transport Strategy

This is intended to facilitate a more efficient and customer focused bus network, using community transport and new mobility solutions where possible and viable. Our approach and priorities are to:

  • work with operators to explore new models of service delivery
  • identify and deliver improvements to services, infrastructure and the customer interface.

If opportunities arise, we will support partners to renew vehicle fleets, deliver promotional initiatives and explore new fares and ticketing arrangements.

You can view the full text of the Shared Transport Strategy on section 6 of the plan, pages 44-47.

Rail Strategy

This is intended to set out how we want the railway to be improved. It includes:

  • identifying priorities that will help the rail network to perform a strategic role in the transport network, providing connectivity between towns in West Sussex and other regional economic centres
  • work with regional partners to promote their inclusion in future rail investment programmes.

You can view the full text of the Rail Strategy in section 6 of the plan, pages 47-49.

Access to Gatwick Airport Strategy

Our access to Gatwick Airport Strategy includes supporting initiatives that will increase sustainable transport mode share for passengers and employees and ensure community needs are taken into account.

You can view the full text of the Access to Gatwick Airport Strategy in section 6 of the plan, pages 49-50.

Road Network Strategy

Travel behaviour in West Sussex is currently dominated by fossil fuel propelled car travel. We are planning to change this by enabling increased use of electric vehicles and sustainable modes of transport. Our approach is to:

  • improve the efficiency of the most strategically important local roads
  • provide facilities for active travel and shared transport services, supported by use of demand management techniques.

These improvements are also expected to contribute to improving road safety and resilience to the effects of climate change.

Where improvements are proposed to trunk roads that are managed by National Highways, this will be subject to their decision-making and processes. However, the plan sets out what is important to the County Council in taking forward these schemes. 

Giving active travel and shared transport greater priority on local roads that do not form part of the County Strategic Road Network is expected to increase their mode share at a faster rate than traffic growth. If major improvements are being made to the road network, our approach is to ensure they enhance biodiversity. Impacts on other aspects of the environment will be avoided and where this is not possible, impacts will be minimised.

You can view the full text of the Road Network Strategy in section 6 of the plan, on pages 50-54.

7 Area transport strategies

Area transport strategies have been produced for the eight local planning areas in West Sussex. These include short- (2022-27), medium- (2027-32) and long-term (2032-36) priorities for each area.

The full Area Transport Strategies are in section 7 of the plan on the following pages:

  • Adur - pages 54-58
  • Arun - pages 58-63
  • Chichester - pages 63-67
  • Crawley - pages 67-71
  • Horsham - pages 72-76
  • Mid Sussex - pages 76-80
  • South Downs National Park - pages 80-84
  • Worthing - pages 84-87.

8 Implementation and monitoring

An initial five-year action plan has been included that will be reviewed annually. The plan will also be fundamentally reviewed every five years to consider whether or not any changes are required to our strategies or priorities.

Implementation of the plan will involve consultation with relevant stakeholders at key stages as interventions are developed. Consultation and engagement initiatives will be designed to suit the needs of the affected communities, including hard to reach groups.

The County Council is unlikely to be able to deliver the plan alone as it has neither the resources, statutory powers nor funding to do so. Therefore, we will work in partnership with other organisations such as Transport for the South East in the public, private and third sector to help deliver the plan.

As a statutory consultee in the land-use planning system, the County Council will work with local planning authorities and developers to deliver a vision-led approach to development planning and the delivery of associated infrastructure.

The plan includes a commitment to setting a carbon emission reduction target in 2022 and a set of measures and indicators. These will be monitored and reported in an annual monitoring report (AMR) and used to guide decision-making as the plan is implemented. The AMR is available on our Transport Plan monitoring page.

You can view more information about monitoring and implementation in sections 8 and 9 of the plan, pages 87-97.

Last updated:
23 August 2023
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