WEST Sussex County Council’s push for devolution would see it have a greater say in the future upkeep of the A27.
East Sussex and Surrey county councils have joined WSCC in writing to local government minister Greg Clark in calling for greater powers and freedoms for this part of the south east.
At present, government department the Highways Agency has responsibility for the country’s strategic road network.
WSCC leader Louise Goldsmith said: “A lot of people have asked why the A27 hasn’t been included in our Better Roads programme – this is the £30m we have invested in resurfacing many of our West Sussex roads over the last 18 months to fix potholes and repair road surfaces.
“The A27 is managed by the Highways Agency (HA) and the agency is responsible for its maintenance and repairs. But we know it’s no good improving the standard of roads within the county if the main roads to enter it and leave it are littered with potholes so we have already written to the HA encouraging them in the strongest possible terms to prioritise repairs to this stretch of road.
“We know that a good road network is one of the highest priorities for our taxpayers across West Sussex.
“We are currently working on our devolution offer to the government with our partners in Surrey and East Sussex and with our district and borough councils. We’re seeking greater powers and freedoms to be devolved to the south east from Whitehall to tackle issues exactly like this. Working in a more integrated way with Highways England is something we are very interested in.
“I wish the Observer every success with this campaign.”
In launching the campaign, editor in chief of the Chichester Observer group Gary Shipton said it was simply outrageous that Highways England had failed to remedy the potholes on such a vital road into the county.
“Cars and lorries travel at speed along this stretch of road and I have seen many instances where they swerve with little warning to avoid the potholes. It is essential that action is taken.
“This issue emphasises the good sense of West Sussex County Council and its leader Louise Goldsmith in seeking devolution for these three rural counties so they could initiate repairs immeditately – without having to go cap in hand to Highways England.”
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