Home > A27 Arundel bypass > Arguments for A27 improvements. Quotes taken from the A27 debate on 13th December 2005

Arguments for A27 improvements. Quotes taken from the A27 debate on 13th December 2005

Quotes taken from the A27 debate on 13th December 2005.

Peter Bottomley MP – Just in case the Minister has not been down to the A27 recently, his advisers will tell him that it is faster to go through Chichester than to use the bypass, it is sometimes faster to go through Arundel than to use the bypass, and it is probably faster to go along the coast road than along the national road in Worthing, Shoreham and Lancing.

Nick Herbert MP – The bypass that exists runs between two sides of the town, cutting off one mainly residential half from the town centre. If one travels west on the A27, having eventually escaped the congestion in Worthing, one will get on to a dual carriageway for a few precious miles, but it simply runs out at Arundel. The flyover is there, and was ready for the dual carriageway to continue, but lies moribund.

Nick Herbert MP – That has a serious impact in several respects, the first of which is congestion. Traffic flows are continually rising on the A27. In the six years between 1994 and 2000 alone, they increased by 25 per cent. Traffic flows on the A27 are three to four times more than the designed capacity of the road, which causes long tailbacks.

Nick Herbert MP – The traffic flow on the A27 through Arundel—a town of 4,200 inhabitants—was 27,000 vehicles a day in 2001. As the right hon. Member for North-West Durham (Hilary Armstrong), then a Transport Minister, said in 2000:

“Few can deny that the volume of traffic that passes through Arundel daily has an impact on the quality of life both of local residents and of those who must use this section of the A27 for their journey.”—[Official Report, Westminster Hall, 7 March 2000; Vol. 345, c. 152WH.]

Nick Herbert MP – There is also an impact on safety. The accident rate in Arundel is twice the national average for the type of road and four times the national average for dual carriageways……….. The Highways Agency estimates that off-line improvements to the A27 at Arundel would prevent 425 accidents and 580 casualties over the next 30 years.

Tim Loughton MP – The level of traffic in West Sussex over the next 10 years is predicted to increase by as much as 23 per cent. An increase of a quarter in the congestion that we already have can only lead to those roads being completely gridlocked in the next few years.

Nick Herbert MP – There is an impact in terms of local pollution and an environmental impact as traffic is pushed away from the A27, rat-running through the South Downs area of outstanding natural beauty.

Nick Herbert MP – While the economy of the south-east is strong, and the economy of West Sussex has traditionally performed well, there are significant areas of deprivation along the south coast, and pockets of long-term unemployment. Poor transport links continue to hamper economic growth and investment in those areas and along the whole south coast. It is estimated, on the basis of figures compiled by Sussex Enterprise and British Chambers of Commerce, that problems with transport infrastructure cost Sussex businesses an average of £29,000 a year. Cumulatively, that is an annual cost of £2 billion to the Sussex economy. The South East England Development Agency highlights the fact that one of the main issues facing the south-east is regeneration. It states:

“Major transport projects of regional significance for regeneration of the coastal South East include the comprehensive improvement of the A27, especially deliverable solutions for Worthing and Arundel.”

Nick Herbert MP – The Government’s house building plans will also be affected by inadequate transport infrastructure. The South East England regional assembly has proposed that West Sussex should provide 58,000 new homes over the next two decades. The Deputy Prime Minister could impose larger numbers still. As West Sussex county council points out, however,

“any further development would depend on infrastructure capacity being available, especially on the A27.”

That infrastructure is not available at the moment.

Peter Bottomley MP – I think I can speak for the other Members whose constituencies are on the A27. We all know that Arundel should be dealt with first. Worthing is important but probably comes second, along with Chichester. If that saves consultation, it probably saves a year.

Nick Herbert MP – In conclusion, I would like to ask the Minister how many times we have to make the case for a bypass and for improvements to the A27. Frankly, the economic case is unarguable and I believe that there is also a strong environmental case. We have been waiting 20 years since the bypass was first agreed by the Government. It has strong local support. Of course, there are some exceptions, but most people back it. In a MORI poll commissioned by the South East England Regional Agency last year, 82 per cent. of residents cited traffic levels in the region as an area of major concern—on a par with crime as a key issue. About 72 per cent indicated a preference for bypasses that would draw traffic around towns. If the Minister is unmoved by the local case, the impact on the regional economy should surely be of concern to him. Now is the time to end the delay and give the go-ahead to improvements to the A27 at Arundel and also at Chichester and Worthing.

Andrew Tyrie MP – I agree that the Minister is a good chap, as my hon. Friend the Member for Worthing, West (Peter Bottomley) said a moment ago, but I really do think that he is slightly off the rails now. He has said four times that the proposed road improvements are close to an area of outstanding natural beauty and that they might cause environmental damage. Surely we need some joined-up government, particularly in the Chichester area but throughout the region. Will the Minister speak to his opposite numbers and do something about the huge amount of house building that is going on, which is creating the demand on the road and generating the pressure? One lot are building the houses while the other lot are saying that we cannot improve the road because it is near an area of outstanding natural beauty.


  1. October 4, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you Tony as I’m not at all conversant on this subject many thanks for simple facts making sense ive added my comments on scrate website

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