Friday, 17 March 2017

A27 fears as parallel capacity for struggling M25 is suggested.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to understand just what is in the future for the A27. On the one hand there is The Department for Transport (DfT) who designs the overall strategy on how the road network will look over the coming years. On the other is Highways England (HE) who implements that strategy.
From reading the many publications on the vision the DfT have, it has been apparent they want to see the route at least upgraded to dual carriageway standard from Portsmouth to Ashford in Kent. They also confirm the A27 is not only part of our Strategic Road Network (SRN) it is also an important part of the Trans-European Network –Transport (TEN-T)
The latest (March 2017) DfT publication about the M25, while not at first glance seeming to have anything to do with the A27, could in fact see the A27 become an important part of reducing the pressure on the south western section of the orbital motorway. See:
It has to be read to understand fully the implications but here’s a snippet:
1.5.2 This study recommends that the focus of future work should not be on widening the existing road (M25). Instead, attention should be given to how to reduce pressures and provide parallel capacity to relieve the motorway network. This should work first to find alternatives to travel, or to move traffic to more sustainable modes. But the volume of travel means that road enhancements are also likely to be needed.
Published at the same time, HE has the “South Coast Central Route Strategy March 2017” that covers the A27.
In that document you can see how they set out the ‘Delivery Plan’. This in four stages. Research (2015-18). Decision (2018-19). Mobilisation (2020). Delivery (post 2020).
Confused? Well if you’re not we are. You see in all the meetings we’ve been invited to, decision makers have strongly made the point that there’s no money to do anything but the very minimum. In Worthing that means modest junction and signal improvements. Any mention of a bypass or Dual carriageway has been slapped down with force.
However if the route from Hastings to Ashford is dualled at sometime in the future then with the increase in traffic unleashed, life will never be the same in once sunny Worthing.