The A27 Action Campaign suffered its first setback yesterday when Brighton & Hove City Council voted against a Conservative motion asking the Council to support the dualling of the A27 along its entire length. Both Greens and Labour voted against the motion and were not taken in by some of the spurious arguments being made for the road.
These appeared to be following Nick Herbert MP’s line of how it would bring huge environmental benefits to the National Park while failing to point out that it would cost £2 billion to get around Worthing in a tunnel, so how likely would it be to happen anyway? Either that or it goes through the town which would be extremely unpopular too.
It is often overlooked that if the road was dualled along its whole length it would attract more traffic to use it. This would come from the surrounding roads to an extent, from people who currently use public transport but get back into a car ,and from longer distance traffic switching down to the south coast to avoid the M3 / A3 and M25. The induced traffic would bring no benefit to the economy, would increase congestion and undermine public transport. All would increase noise pollution and traffic in the National Park, even if a few routes benefited. Therefore all you would achieve would be to move the congestion around.
It certainly would increase congestion in Brighton and other coastal towns as the traffic on the A27 mostly starts and finishes in these places. Faster moving traffic on dual carriageways would also dramatically increase noise pollution, harming tranquility in the National Park. That’s before you consider any landscape and wildlife impacts.
So well done Brighton & Hove City Council for not jumping on the A27 bandwagon. It has shown that investing in public transport and other sustainable measures supports the local economy. Its neighbours need to start understanding that too.