CAMPAIGNERS are confident that plans to expand the A27 have moved a step closer following an announcement by the Prime Minister.

David Cameron gave A27 campaigners renewed hope when mentioning the often gridlocked road in a major speech yesterday, announcing the biggest investment in road building for 40 years.

The A27 is expected to be one of more than 100 of the most notorious congestion hot spots in the country being targeted as part of a £15 billion investment during the next five years.

Mr Cameron told business leaders yesterday that hundreds of extra lane miles will be created on motorways and trunk roads as part of a ‘roads revolution’ to speed journeys.

The announcement follows months of intense lobbying by the A27 Action Group of MPs, councillors and business figures, who have put pressure on Whitehall to provide solutions to ease congestion on the route.

Mr Cameron told the Confederation of British Industry that plans for the “biggest, boldest and most far-reaching” upgrade to roads in a generation will be announced in next month’s autumn statement.

Chancellor George Osborne will confirm whether the A27 will be included when he delivers the statement speech on Wednesday, December 3.

The A27 Action Group has called for improvements to the six junctions at Chichester, improvements to the Worthing and Lancing corridor, with a new Lancing junction, and an Arundel bypass.

They want to see the Fontwell junction improved, trunk road junctions at Brighton and better access to Newhaven via the A26.

Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert was among a number of local politicians praising the news, which he said was “encouraging”.

Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby said: “I know that improving the A27 would make a huge positive difference to the economy here in East Sussex as well as easing pressure on other roads like the A259.”

West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith said the news was an acknowledgment by Mr Cameron of their “strong campaign” for making the A27 a dual carriageway.

She added that without an “end-to-end solution”, residents would be forced to endure rat runs through smaller villages.

However, the plans have been criticised by environmental groups which argue that investment should be made in more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives.

Chris Todd, of Friends of the Earth, said: “The road building schemes the Government is so keen to talk up will trash protected areas and do nothing for the economy.”