Improvements to A27 move one step closer

David Cameron
David Cameron
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PRIME minister David Cameron has given his strongest indication yet that major improvements to the A27 will go ahead.

Written material from a speech he gave to the Confederation of British Industry revealed the A27 was in line for government funding, as part of a £15bn package to revolutionise England’s roads.

The news pre-empts Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement next month, when further details will be officially announced.

The A27 Action Campaign, made up of councils, business leaders and local MPs, is lobbying the government for a dual carriageway across West Sussex, an Arundel bypass, and better junctions at Chichester, Fontwell and Worthing.

Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council, said: ‘We have had a strong campaign, supported by many people, about dualling the A27 from east to west.

‘It certainly looks like David Cameron has acknowledged the effort and the case we have put in, although we still don’t know the detail yet.’

However, not all groups are happy about plans to build more roads.

Tony Whitbread, chief executive of Sussex Wildlife Trust, said: ‘As in the past, environmental concerns are pushed to one side.

‘One option for the Arundel bypass will cause the greatest loss of ancient woodland in Sussex for the last 20 years; the other will destroy the setting of two villages.

‘But to some this is a price worth paying in order to relieve congestion and stimulate the economy.’

He added: ‘Road building does not deliver the relief of congestion that is generally claimed – quite the reverse.

‘Roads generate new traffic and that creates new, and worse, congestion.’