Environmental and cycling groups are calling on councillors not to back a new road building campaign.

Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth and Bricycles are both calling on Brighton and Hove City councillors to reject a notice to support the newly formed A27 Action Campaign at tomorrow’s council meeting.

The proposal has been put forward by Conservative group leader Geoffrey Theobald for the city council to join numerous other local authorities in backing the new campaign.

A27 Action was launched last month to put pressure on the Government to fund improvements to ease traffic around Chichester, Arundel and Worthing.

Coun Theobald in proposing the motion said that Brighton and Hove City Council would add “considerable weight” to the campaign.

But Brighton and Hove Friends Of The Earth say that increasing capacity of the A27would be extremely costly, would not be in the interests of the city and are sceptical that the road building would boost economic growth.

Chris Todd from the group said that much of the traffic on the A27 is local traffic and required local transport solutions not big new roads.

He added: “Many councillors spent years supporting the creation of the South Downs National Park. Now they risk throwing much of that away if they support the A27 Action Campaign.

"This group’s aim to see the A27 dualled along its whole length would be extremely costly economically and environmentally.

"If successful, it could then lead to more roadbuilding around Brighton and Hove and cause huge damage to the South Downs.”