A27 reaction: Road improvement plans welcomed but ‘long overdue’

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Plans for a multi-million pound upgrade of the A27 have been welcomed by campaigners who have said safety improvements are ‘long overdue’.

Campaign for Better Transport has welcomed Highways England’s announcement of its preferred options for the A27 which was consulted on earlier in the year.

The proposal to spend £75 million to upgrade the busy stretch of road was announced today.

The transport charity raised concerns about the impact of some proposals, such as a Selmeston bypass, on the South Downs National Park but these, it says, appear to have been dropped.

It still has concerns about the detailed design but hopes this will be improved before construction.

Chris Todd, local groups campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, said, “This is a welcome announcement from Highways England which has dropped schemes that would badly impact on the South Downs National Park. This is in stark contrast to Arundel, where the only options put forward would all cause massive damage.

“We welcome the investment in local transport for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users, but more needs to be done. Any facilities must be to the highest standards and the number of crossings that pedestrians and cyclists need to make must be reduced.

“In the consultation, some people questioned the value for money of walking and cycling facilities, but these were assessed under standards that are now out of date.

“Removing cyclists from the A27 will help with traffic flow and congestion, as well as improving safety, and these facilities are long overdue.”

Meanwhile, Kelly-Marie Blundell, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary spokesperson, said, “Many people across the villages east of Lewes will be pleased to see, at this stage, there is no proposal for the A27 to be a new dual carriageway through the South Downs.

“However, residents have expressed concern that proposals to do not go far enough to address problems at Drusilla’s Roundabout nor is there anything proposed to improve the Selmeston junction.

“Investment in more cycle paths for this area is greatly welcomed to protect both cyclists and drivers.”