Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Private investment suggested for A27 improvements

West Sussex County Council has welcomed the Prime Minister’s call for an urgent increase in private investment to improve the road network.

David Cameron’s speech on infrastructure, in which he argued private sector financing could pay to upgrade the UK’s busiest roads, was seen as a solution to the congested A27 trunk road in West Sussex.

The authority has been continuing to press the need for improvements along the A27, particularly around the traffic bottlenecks at Worthing, Arundel and Chichester.

A letter, jointly signed by the leaders of the County Council, Arun District Council, Adur District Council, Worthing Borough Council, Horsham District Council and Chichester District Council, was sent to the Secretary of State for Transport Justine Greening MP earlier this month.

The letter urged the Government to look again at the case for an Arundel by-pass, improvements to the Chichester by-pass, and improvements on the road between Lancing and Worthing.

West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith said: “David Cameron’s wish for greater private sector funding to rebuild roads could be an important step towards unlocking improvements on the A27.

“Public sector funding can never bring about all three major improvements along the road within the timeframe we need them, but investment from the private sector can.

“We had already written to the Secretary of State asking her to prioritise improvements on the A27 and the Prime Minister’s view re-affirms our stance.”

She added: “We want to talk to businesses locally to see what they feel about this and what role they can play in future.”

Louise was keen to stress asking for financial help from the private sector did not necessarily mean introducing toll roads.

She said: “The media has concentrated much of their attention on what the Prime Minister had to say about the potential for toll roads.

“As the Prime Minister himself made clear, more toll roads is just part of a possible answer.  The much bigger issue is how we secure the investment we need in our roads to solve the urgent need to support economic growth and ease congestion.

“The bottlenecks on the A27 are a case in point.  Successive governments have failed to find public money for these much needed improvements.  We need to look for more creative solutions.”