Cash agreed for Chichester’s A27 improvements

Government cash has been identified for improvements to the traffic-choked A27 in Chichester – but work will not be carried out before 2015.

This emerged at a meeting in Whitehall with transport secretary Philip Hammond, attended by MPs and representatives of local authorities and business groups.

However, it was made clear there was currently no money in the pipeline for other A27 problem areas including Arundel, Worthing and Lancing.

It is understood the Chichester scheme now envisaged will be a lot less ambitious than proposals first put forward some years ago.

It is likely to include only one flyover rather than two or three – with the price-tag for just one running into millions.

No date has yet been set for when work is to start on the road, only that it will be ‘post 2015’.

Cllr Lionel Barnard, deputy leader of West Sussex County Council, with responsibility for highways and transport, was present at the meeting, called by Worthing West MP Peter Bottomley.

Cllr Barnard spoke during the session about the ‘nightmare’ for drivers chancing their arm getting on to one of the Chichester A27 roundabouts.

“I was given the chance to speak last, and made the point there were strategic road problems at Chichester, Arundel, Worthing and Lancing,” he said.

“Funding was said to be in the programme for something to be done in Chichester post-2015, but nothing for anyone else.”

“However, Mr Hammond made it clear that if it was possible to get developers’ contributions the government would be more willing to look at the possibility of doing something, although there is no getting over the fact that money is very tight.

“If we are just going to wait for government money, we will wait a very long time.”

Business representatives at the meeting stressed the impact which problems on the road were having on the local economy.

Worsening congestion problems on the A27 have been an on-going issue in Chichester for many years.