BUSINESS owners around Bognor Regis have called for A27 improvements to start within three years.
The representatives on the town’s regeneration board have told Highways England their favoured option for the Chichester Bypass.
They decided Option 2 was the best for Bognor Regis and its businesses. Their verdict was sent to the roads body just before last week’s deadline for comments. David Myers, the board’s advisor, said: “It is essential for Bognor Regis residents and businesses that there is safe, easy access to the A27 from the A259 Bognor Road junction.
“It is noted that all the published options, apart from Option 3, include a flyover constructed over the roundabout with Vinnetrow Road diverted on to the A259.
“However, it is Option 2 that delivers the overall access and traffic flow improvement to the A27 and Chichester for Bognor Regis businesses, residents and visitors, and also those in the area south of the A27.”
Mr Myers continued that the A27 improvement had to be seen in the context of Bognor Regis experiencing an increase in economic activity. This included the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars centre, the £35m University of Chichester expansion and planned investment by Butlin’s.
“The board, therefore, looks forward to an early decision confirming the funding and routing for this important stretch of the A27,” he stated.
Board chairman Cllr Gillian Brown said the A27’s role as the main route along the West Sussex coast meant the government funding commitment of between £100-250m for the improvements was welcomed.
“It is imperative that the scheme is started no later than the planned 2019 date. This scheme cannot be seen in isolation and the A27 Arundel Bypass scheme needs to be expedited to ensure the maximum benefit from the A27 improvements in the local area.”
Improved infrastructure around Bognor Regis was one of the keys needed to unlock the town’s potential and overcome its problems such as lower than average wages and educational and skill levels, she said.
“Good progress is being made but more needs to be done,” Cllr Brown added. Option 2 for the bypass works features an A27 flyover at the Bognor Road junction, modifications to the Oving junction, a third lane from the south to the Portfield junction and an A286 flyover at the Stockbridge junction.
Highways England says it hopes to announce its preferred route by the end of this year. Public consultation about the choice will be carried out in 2017 before formal plans are submitted for approval.