Press release

Improved A23 opens to traffic

Long awaited improvements on the A23 in Sussex became a reality today (Tuesday 7 October), when a newly created third lane on the completed Handcross and Warninglid project officially opened to traffic.

A23 Opening

The Highways Agency has been widening the A23 between Handcross and Warninglid - a vital transport link between London and the South Coast – to make journeys quicker and safer and to improve access to Gatwick airport from the south. It is part of a record investment in roads in the South East, the largest since the 1970s.

Highways Agency Chairman Colin Matthews said:

Road users can now enjoy smoother journeys on this vital route; the additional capacity will reduce congestion and the new layout will improve safety.

Highways Agency Project Manager Chris Bacon said:

Improving the A23 has been an enormous task, and the project team has worked tirelessly to deliver these vital improvements in a way that kept traffic moving throughout, with a strong safety record – and at 20% less cost than the original estimate for the project. There is still some resurfacing to be completed and this will be carried out overnight to allow drivers to enjoy the additional capacity during the day.

The project team have worked for two years and achieved 1 million hours without a reportable accident. Now the third lane has opened, work to resurface the A23 either side of the improved sections will continue until November using overnight carriageway closures.

The resurfacing will be carried out overnight, between 8pm and 6am, using carriageway closures. Clearly signed diversions will be in place via the A264, A24 and A272.

Dates of the remaining closures will be publicised in advance and drivers can sign up to receive email updates via the website

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 7 October 2014