A new dual-carriageway between Polegate and Lewes would be the most effective way of improving the A27, according to a group of local MPs and council leaders.
The East Sussex A27 Reference Group met for the first time on Friday, October 24 and agreed turning the busy trunk road into a dual-carriageway would help improve journey times, reliability and safety.
The group, chaired by Kemptown and Peacehaven MP Simon Kirby, also recognised the economic benefits for employment and housing that an improved A27 would bring.
The reference group was formed to make the case for this part of the A27 while the Highways Agency and the Department for Transport undertake a feasibility study looking at various options for improving the road.
Simon Kirby MP said, “I am pleased to be able to bring together this group to ensure this section of the A27 is at the top of the Government’s agenda for improvement.”
Cllr Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, said, “We need the A27 between Lewes and Polegate to be fit for purpose. It is an important part of the strategic road network that has been neglected.
“Our businesses tell us significant improvements will support inward investment and will attract new employees. We believe a new dual carriageway will help businesses, residents and visitors move along this vital east-west coastal route.”
The group agreed to ensure the Chancellor of the Exchequer is clear on the benefits of a new dual-carriageway and will be ensuring ministers in the Department for Transport and Department for Business Innovation and Skills are aware of just how important this road is.
All of those present agreed with the need for a dual-carriageway with the exception of Cllr Rosalyn St Pierre, representing Norman Baker MP’s opinion that minor improvements to the existing road would be preferable.
Earlier in the week, Transport Minister John Hayes MP visited Eastbourne to travel along the A27 between Polegate and Lewes by bus to experience the road. He was asked to visit by Conservative parliamentary candidate for Lewes, Maria Caulfield and Conservative candidate for Eastbourne Caroline Ansell, who are campaigning to have the road upgraded.
In a joint statement, Ms Caulfield and Ms Ansell said, “When the Minister is briefed and receives evidence on the six national road schemes, we want him to have very clearly in his mind the experience of travelling the A27.”
The result of the feasibility study will be announced in early November.