Polegate MP Maria Caulfield has warned that a co-ordinated approach to the future of the A27 is crucial – after a £280 million funding scheme for the Chichester part of the road fell through due to a lack of ‘community cohesion’.
News broke yesterday (Wednesday, March 1) that funding for improvements to the West Sussex stretch of the A27 had been withdrawn because local councils and residents could not agree on what needed to be done.
The Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling MP cancelled the scheme after concluding that the shortlisted options for the scheme were ‘too controversial’ without agreement.
Maria Caulfield, MP for Polegate and Seaford, said that a ‘co-ordinated, co-operative’ approach is needed to ensure the necessary upgrades to the Polegate-Lewes part of the busy road.
She said, “This is a transparent warning that a fractured relationship between local authorities and residents regarding their vision for road improvements will result in total failure.
“The cancellation of the Chichester scheme was the result of a complete lack of a coherent vision of what the area wanted from the upgrade, mainly due to an absence of community cohesion and leadership. As the Chairman of the A27 Reference Group, I refuse to let this happen to us with the Lewes to Polegate stretch.
“I therefore want to reach out to all of the residents to which this upgrade will affect, the businesses in the area, the councillors and authorities involved; and I want to say to you all that we need to be united in our approach.
“Success can only be achieved if there is full cooperation between all of us and that we approach it with an effective and unified strategy.
“I want to ensure that all of you are fully consulted in the decisions that we make, and I will guarantee that I will make our consensus heard with a clear, concise voice.”
Former Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said today (Thursday, March 2) that he had started a petition for the multi-million pound cash package to be spent on the East Sussex part of the A27 instead.
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