Using public money, the A27 Action (a front for local councils, MPs and some businesses) is promoting a controversial proposal for the A27 that was rejected 10 years ago for the harm it would cause the Arun Valley and the huge cost and damage that would result at Worthing. It has used its members influence to get an audience with the Secretary of State for Transport hoping to influence the outcome of the current Department for Transport (DfT) A27 feasibility study.
A27 Action is misleading local business and residents, telling them that more roads will bring long term benefit despite the lack of evidence to support these claims. It is also telling the DfT that its proposals are supported by residents, when it is clear that there is considerable local concern over the nature of its proposals at Arundel and elsewhere and people have not been informed or consulted on this in over 20 years.
However, DfT has increasing evidence of local opposition to A27 Action plans and itself published a new report showing that investment in integrated public transport and improved access provides much better value for money than large scale road building.
It is hoped that the government will not succumb to what Steven Norris, a previous Conservative Transport Minister, described as ‘grand project-itis’, that it will ensure information provision and open public debate and not opt for a massively damaging and money-wasting schemes.