Highways England to Move Forward with Small but Significant Works for the A27

Highways England recently announced that it plans to move forward with certain small but important upgrades along East Sussex’s A27, but it additionally states that the route can still be made into a dual carriageway later on.

Improvements to East Sussex's A27 are due shortly, falling short of dualling

Improvements to East Sussex's A27 are due shortly, falling short of dualling

After a consultation which took place last year, Highways England announced its preferred options when it comes to the A27, specifically on the route going to Lewes’ eastern portion. The options favoured by Highways England are geared towards reducing congestion as well as enhancing safety, especially at certain key points. 

The plans for the area 

A total of four key junctions which are located along a 9-mile long portion of the A27, a section between the areas of Polegate and Lewes, is set for improvements, and a portion of the bypass in Polegate will also be upgraded so it can become a dual carriageway. Along with this, certain cycling and walking facilities along the whole route are scheduled to undergo enhancements. 

According to Tom Beasley, the project manager, it’s great to know that there is strong support and backing for the planned improvements to this portion of the A27. Mr. Beasley also mentioned that there were some good ideas that were put forth, and the input of individuals has helped mould their plans and they have been able to make some significant changes to their existing proposals so that they can bring the most benefits.

But according to Highways England, proposals for improvements on the junction of Selmeston have had to be abandoned after it was found that there are no current options which could bring forth a worthy benefit without negatively impacting the national park in South Downs. This announcement of Highways England has come after it received a request from Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, to look into investing £3 million out of its £75 million budget on a study which examines different options for a scheme or project that doubles the route.  

Meanwhile, the East Sussex County Council’s Director of Economy, Transport, and Communities, Rupert Clubb, has confirmed that the council fully supports these small improvements as they deal with notorious ‘pinch areas’ or points on the A27 and would also be developed sooner than a project for a dual carriageway. The council, however, as Mr. Clubb points out, is still committed to the development of a future dual carriageway for the A27, and they are looking forward to collaborating with Highways England in this endeavour. 

Campaign for Better Transport’s Chris Todd, who is a campaigner for local groups, also adds that this comes as a welcome pronouncement from the government, especially as Highways England has abandoned schemes which would have a negative impact on the national park in South Downs. 

Posted on 30 Oct 2017 in News

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