A transport minister has said there is a ‘very compelling case’ to support the A27 investment campaign after being driven along the busy road on a double-decker bus.
John Hayes MP was able to see all the potential hazards of the main road for himself on Monday, October 16 when he travelled along the Pevensey bypass to the notorious Wilmington Crossing on the bus with Conservative parliamentary candidates Caroline Ansell, for Eastbourne and Willingdon, and Maria Coulfield for Lewes.
The A27 was identified in 2013 as one six choke points seriously affecting the efficiency of the UK’s network of trunk roads and as a result, the Department of Transport was instructed to undertake a feasibility study through the Highways Agency to determine the most suitable steps forward for improvement.
In a joint statement Caroline and Maria said, “When the Minister is briefed and receives a tome of evidence on the six national road schemes – we want him to have very clearly in his mind the experience of travelling the A27.”
The Department for Transport has been looking at six national road schemes needing investment and the results of the feasibility study will be announced during the first week of November, while a decision regarding specific funding is expected to be released in the chancellor’s autumn statement on December 3.
Technical experts will give their verdict on whether it is possible to improve safety and journey times along the A27.
Caroline added, “We know this road is damaging to our future prospects. Businesses need good transport connections to ‘do’ business and too many families know, to their cost, that the road is unsafe.
“New dual, new single, village bypasses and just junctions - there’s been much debate around how to tackle the road but the reality is that this is a very beautiful, environmentally sensitive part of the world with communities living along the way. Finding a deliverable scheme is a serious challenge. John said that Maria and I have made a very compelling case.”
John Hayes MP said, “It’s something we’re looking at as a department, we have a feasibility study looking at what could be done to improve things.
“You can make decisions in Westminster and Whitehall, but actually getting a look and feel of what the effect of those decisions is going to be, is vitally important.”
Back in April, the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, also drove along the A27 to witness the road’s problems.