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A27 (Worthing)

Volume 941: debated on Wednesday 14 December 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the West Sussex County Council regarding an urgent public inquiry into his proposals for the A27 route in the Worthing area.

The county council, at its meeting on 25th November, decided to urge my right hon. Friend to hold a public inquiry with broad terms of reference before detailed plans for the preferred route are prepared.

What is the Minister going to do about it? Is it not the case that the local authorities are unanimous in opposing the announcement of the preferred route? Is it not quite wrong that substantial public expenditure should be incurred in developing that route before a public inquiry has had the opportunity of examining either whether a new route is needed or whether the route that has been chosen is the right one?

As the hon. Gentleman knows, there has already been extensive public consultation on the question of broad routes. There will be further public consultation on the Arundel road improvement, and there will eventually be a public inquiry. I think that that is the right way to proceed.