A27 upgrade/downgrade?

A27 Grove Lodge roundabout

 The new scheme seems to have been done without a thought for cyclists. One would have thought that you would look to reducing traffic before creating a scheme to increase traffic. I suppose that now we are out of Europe we should not think or plan like Europeans.

 Walking and cycling

“We intend to maintain current walking and cycling routes (there are none other than the Grove Lodge roundabout circumnavigation!!!) and where possible improve access for people walking, cycling and horse riding in the area when designing the scheme. This will encourage greater use of sustainable transport for local journeys.

 We (Highways England) welcome your thoughts on any potential improvements to the current facilities. Detailed proposals will be discussed with the relevant authorities, cycling and walking groups.”

It seems that once they had the plan they realised the they needed to think about walkers and cyclists. Seems a bit late now.

 Statistics

Before you read this you must remind yourself that Worthing is small and flat even though it has no cycle routes.

  •  63% of those Worthing district residents currently in employment drive (or are driven) to work by a car / van
  • 14% walk
  • 6% travel by train
  • 5% cycle
  • 3% travel by bus, minibus or coach
  • 1% travel by motorcycle

 Trains

If you saw the proposed plans for the Ikea/600 houses in Lancing you’d see that there are no cycle routes proposed to link Shoreham to Lancing stations. Trains work in the rest of Europe. Why not here?

“We (Highways England) have no evidence to suggest that there will be any significant switch from road to rail along the A27 corridor between Chichester and Brighton that would meet the overall future demand for travel, which demonstrates the need to improve the A27 at Worthing and Lancing.”

 The proposed junction changes

You can see the plans better in the main document. It is hard to see what the gain is for drivers but they are only looking to save 3 minutes and kit looks worse for cyclists.

 This is the wording for each junction:

1. Durrington Hill / Salvington Hill

Convert the existing priority junctions to a traffic signalled cross road junction. Widening on Durrington Hill and on the A27 to accommodate a two lane approach, which would require some land acquisition.

 Durrington & Offington junctions

2. Offington Corner Junction roundabout – A24 Findon Road/ Offington Lane (Durrington Cemetery)

Convert the existing roundabout to a traffic signalled cross road junction. Widening on all approaches and some exits to accommodate extra slip roads and lanes, which would require some land acquisition. Access to the A24 from Fontwell Close remains but access to the A27 from Goodwood Road would be closed.

 

3. Grove Lodge Junction

Widening of the approaches and circulation lanes to accommodate two lanes of traffic through the junction. Would require some land acquisition.

 A27 Grove Lodge roundabout

4a. Lyons Farm Retail Part 1 Junction (Sompting Road) and 4b Lyons Farm Retail Part 2 Junction (Lyons Way)

Widening of the existing junctions to accommodate more lanes. Provide new turning arrangements at both junctions. Right turns from the A27 eastbound into Sompting Road and from Pines Avenue onto the A27 would be banned. Dedicated left-turn lane from the A27 eastbound into the retail park removed. Access to the A27 from Hadley Avenue closed. Widening would require some land acquisition.

Lancing West 

5. Busticle Lane / Halewick Lane Junction

Provide new junction to the west of the existing junction for access to / from Halewick Lane. This would require some land acquisition, some of which is within the South Downs National Park.

 

6. Grinstead Lane / Manor Road Junction

Lancing East

Widen the existing junction approaches and convert the existing roundabout to a new traffi c signal controlled junction for traffic turning from Manor Road onto the A27. Would require some land acquisition from nearby properties. Traffic coming from the Brighton direction

would not be able to make U-turns.

Note: all proposed new traffic signals would incorporate toucan crossings (allowing pedestrians and cyclists to cross together), which would increase the provision for people walking and cycling in a number of locations.

 As for walkers and cyclists

“The footway / cycleway areas on the plans show where we are looking at improvements for people walking and cycling. These designs are still being developed.”

 Hmmm! Does that mean, as in the past, that they will be forgotten?

 What about the longer term?

“The improved junctions do not have sufficient capacity to cater well for peak period traffic in the longer term, due to planned developments and natural growth in population. Local authorities would need to consider measures to reduce long term growth such as traffic restraint policies, improvements to public transport and increased cycling and walking.”

 Of course we live in Worthing which is in West Susses and both the Borough Council and County Council have a poor track record for creating any cycling infrastructure.

 Safety

“The scheme will reduce accidents by drawing traffic away from minor junctions and local roads. Toucan crossings at junctions will provide protected crossing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, and new traffic signals at roundabouts will improve safety for cyclists.”

 I agree that if cyclist are waiting at Toucan crossings it will be safer but don’t you think that without segregated cycle paths the cyclists will opt to stay on the roads. The roads will be safe as the cars will be log-jammed.

 How much time will you save driving the A27?

“Peak period journey times should reduce despite the projected growth in traffic. We estimate the following journey time savings in 2041 (average / vehicle): Morning peak - eastbound and westbound: 3 minutes. Evening peak - eastbound and westbound: 5 minutes.”

 £100 million to save 3 minutes and only in the short term!

 Come on people! Get on your bikes and save time, money, the environment and your lives!

When? 2022!

What can you do?

 Write to Highways England.

 Complete their survey.