Motorists may soon have to pay a toll for using the A27, if an MP gets his way. Nicholas Soames is the Mid Sussex MP who wants this to come into being, as he says it is the only way to find the money to pay for much needed improvements to one of the busiest roads in Sussex. Council leaders and fellow MP’s, however, have said that putting a toll on the road will damage tourism as create rat runs beside the A27 as cars dodge the tolls.
Mr Soames spoke to the Argus and said that there was a huge gap in the amount of funding that was available and what was needed, and in his view the best way of raising the money needed to make these much needed improvements was by putting a toll on the road and getting a company from the private sector to take it on.
He added that he understood why many people didn’t like the idea but unfortunately we’re in an age of austerity and have to carefully weigh up the pros and the cons. Mr Soames continued to say that the majority of the main roads in mainland Europe were tolled and thanks to this are of a much higher standard.
Mike Penning is the roads minister, and he has said that while he was willing to discuss any proposals, there are no current plans to make the A27 a toll road. The leader of Worthing Borough Council, Paul Yallop, has also said he is keen to discuss any ideas that will bring forward the roads much needed improvements, but was keen to emphasise that a toll was not welcome.
He also said that most motorists who use the A27 would begrudge paying for it and would think it very unfair that other areas didn’t have tolls, and if a toll on the A27 did go ahead it could only happen as part of a national scheme.