A27: CPRE Sussex responds to Worthing/Lancing improvements consultation

12th September 2017

CPRE Sussex has submitted its response to Highway England’s consultation on road improvements for the Worthing/Lancing stretch of the A27.

In our submission (11th September 2017) we highlighted the fact that CPRE’s The End of the Road? report reveals that road-building is failing to provide the congestion relief and economic boost promised, while devastating the environment. It directly challenges government claims that ‘the economic gains from road investment are beyond doubt’; that road-building will lead to ‘mile a minute’ journeys; and that the impact on the environment will be limited ‘as far as possible’. The report shows how road building over the past two decades has repeatedly failed to live up to similar aims. We therefore believe that any investment in the existing road needs to be part of a wider package of investment to reduce the use of motorised vehicles on our roads including smart planning for growth and investment in infrastructure for walking, cycling and use of public transport.

In 2006, Professor Phil Goodwin, in his seminal article Induced traffic again. And again. And again, pointed out that for 80 years, empirical studies and official reports had agreed on the rather inconvenient truth that more road capacity leads to more traffic. We would like to see more evidence as to why the consultation brochure claims that greater reliance on public transport, walking and cycling would be unlikely to alleviate congestion on the A27 through Worthing and Lancing? Undoubtedly this would be a better way of meeting the scheme objectives.

Although we welcome the decision to upgrade the existing road, as opposed to creating a damaging new road through the protected South Downs National Park, we believe that the Option should be better aligned with Local Plans and planned development – particularly the emerging Arun Local Plan which potentially allocates 600 houses and an IKEA at New Monks Farm.

CPRE Sussex is currently reviewing proposals for the Arundel Bypass. We are shocked by significant omissions in data and information which have been identified by ABNC see: http://www.arundelbypass.co.uk/new-film-shows-true-impact-of-arundel-bypass