A proposed £75 million upgrade to improve journeys for the 26,000 drivers who use the eastern A27 in Sussex each day has been announced by Highways England.
Four junctions along a nine mile section of the A27 between Lewes and Polegate will be improved, a section of the Polegate bypass will be upgraded to a dual carriageway and walking and cycling facilities along the whole stretch will be enhanced.
The plans were put to the public last year, with 78 per cent of respondents backing the need for improvements. Today, (Tuesday 26 September) Highways England has announced the results of the consultation and the preferred options being taken forward at each location.
Highways England Project Manager Tom Beasley said:
I would like to thank everyone who took part in our consultation. It’s great to see that there is such strong backing for improvements to this section of the A27, and there were some really good ideas put forward. People’s input has helped to shape our plans and we’ve made some key changes to our proposals to make sure they deliver the biggest benefit. In particular we’ve prioritised improvements at Polegate including the Gainsborough Lane junction, over the Selmeston bypass option and introduced a new enhanced option for upgrading the Wilmington junction – all as a result of people’s input. There will be an opportunity for people to see more detailed plans when we present the final designs at public exhibition events next year.
The plans include:
- widening Drusillas Roundabout to improve journeys along the A27 and for north-south traffic at the junction
- a new option for upgrading Wilmington junction, making it easier for drivers to join or leave the A27 and including a horse rider and cycle friendly Pegasus crossing
- widening a half a mile section of the A27 between the Polegate interchange and the Cophall roundabout to a dual carriageway, and an upgraded, signalised junction at Polegate
- near to the Polegate interchange, as a result of the consultation, introducing new proposals for upgrading the Gainsborough Lane junction by providing a right turn facility
- significant enhancements to the walking and cycle routes along this nine mile stretch of the A27, including a new pedestrian and cycle path between Firle and Polegate
Proposals to upgrade Selmeston junction have been withdrawn after no options could be found that would deliver a worthwhile benefit without having an unacceptable impact on the South Downs national park.
The proposed plans will help to make journeys more reliable, ease congestion and improve safety along this section of the A27, especially at the key pinch points in Polegate and Wilmington. They are part of the Government’s record £15bn investment in roads between 2015 and 2020, which is improving people’s journeys, making roads safer and boosting the economy.
A public consultation on the options was held from 27 October to 8 December 2016. A total of 1,140 responses were received during this consultation. Ten events were held at venues near the A27 east of Lewes scheme corridor for the public and stakeholders including local authorities, landowners and businesses, with over 1,000 people attending the events.
78% of people who responded to the consultation questionnaire said they are very concerned about road safety, with 70% very concerned about congestion or delays at junctions.
A copy of the consultation report and announcement flyer can be found on the Highways England website.
Anyone interested in the scheme can sign up to receive updates via the (project page)[http://www.highways.gov.uk/A27EastofLewes] on the Highways England website where they can also see visualisations outlining the preferred options.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.