A27 improvements between Lewes and Polegate set to start in Spring

Long awaited improvements to the A27 between Lewes and Polegate look set to start next spring.

Thursday, 25th July 2019, 10:49 am
Queueing on the A27 near Lewes after a collision, photo by Eddie Mitchell

Highways England has announced VolkerFitzpatrick has been appointed to oversee the £52.4 million contract as part of £8.7 billion of work on England’s major A-roads.

Campaigners hoping for a complete dualling of the route will be disappointed. The work will see various junctions along the nine-mile section upgraded and a short section west of Polegate made into a dual carriageway, with enhanced walking and cycling facilities along the whole stretch.

A27 Lewes bypass, by Peter Cripps

Highways England major projects executive director Peter Mumford said, “I am delighted to announce the signing of these contracts, which mark the first of many more to come as part of the Regional Delivery Partnership.”

Highways England asked members of the public for views about the scheme in 2017 and since then the company has continued to develop the design, taking into account comments and issues raised during consultation. This included looking at what can be put in place to minimise the impact on the environment and local communities.

The A27 project will upgrade two junctions along a nine-mile section of the A27 between Lewes and Polegate, create a new dual carriageway on a short section of the Polegate Bypass and enhance walking, cycling and equestrian facilities along the whole stretch.

Sustainable transport group South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment (SCATE) objected to the plans. They said the dual carriageway would be noisier than the existing road. They also objected to the impact on the environment most notably South Downs National Park.

Social media posts said, “They should put this money towards a full dualling of the road. Why waste money tinkering?”

Another commenter said, “Exactly ....will cause lots of disruption during the works with minimal improvement in the end when works are completed.”

While others said money should be spent upgrading the east coastway rail line making rail a “more attractive option”.

Report by Susan King.