The Road Network


The A27 through Sussex is part of the Strategic Road Network managed by Highways England (HE). Although identified as a trunk road for management purposes it is not engineered as a strategic trunk route through most of West Sussex and is not a significant route.

The 2002 government-commissioned South Coast Multi-modal Study report said:

‘There is very little commercial or social interaction between Coastal towns that are over 50 kilometres apart. This is illustrated by the fact that the average car journey is less than 25 kilometres. Most congestion problems are currently confined to the peak periods’.

The 2015 HE A27 Feasibility Study said there was ‘little change in travel patterns between 2001 and 2011.’ Department for Transport figures show that overall levels of traffic are little changed since 2000. The only vehicle type to increase is local delivery vans, due to internet shopping.

Commuting is the major journey type and dominates peak time traffic. Measures to improve choice in transport, make better use of digital technology and provide workplace flexibility for commuters are likely to have a significant impact on congestion and improving journey time reliability.


The A259 provides access for many more businesses, industrial sites and retail parks than the A27, as well as serving far more of the local population.

The A259 has recently been upgraded by West Sussex County Council (WSCC) with the Felpham and North Bersted relief roads. WSCC is also planning improvements to other parts of the A259 between Bognor and Worthing. These are likely to reduce traffic demand on the A27, but HE has told stakeholders that it is not taking this into account for A27 option designs.

A27 improvements

HE is planning improvements to the existing Chichester bypass junctions and is funded to make on-line (along the existing road) improvements to the A27 through Worthing and Lancing. The new Purple route would be the only Arundel option consistent with on-line improvements at Worthing and Chichester, enabling a more consistent flow.

For more detailed information and discussion, including Highways England and Department for Transport reports, go to:

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