EXASPERATED motorists stuck in five-mile rush-hour tailbacks on the A27 were today demanding an explanation for their misery.

Drivers reacted with disbelief yesterday after they were pulled over by police to take part in a highways department census.

Massive tailbacks developed because of the Highways Agency survey taking place on the A27 in Lancing, and on the A283 near Dacre Gardens, Upper Beeding, and the A24 north of Offington Roundabout, Worthing.

But last night, despite admitting they had caused motorists misery and apologising, warned “there’s more to come”.

Officials from the government agency told The Argus the surveys would continue until next week – but would not reveal when or where.

Motorists were pulled over yesterday, including on the A27, where one lane was closed, leaving queues of up to five miles in both directions.

Major disruption from 7am meant some people’s journey times were four times longer after the government officials decided not to pre-warn the public.

The Highways Agency said it was gathering data ahead of the government’s pledge to transform the A27 with a £350 million investment to the Worthing/Sompting/Lancing stretch of the road, with the option of a full dual carriageway the favoured solution.

A spokesman added they did not publicise the survey to avoid skewing the data.

Chairman of Lancing Football Club Martin Gander, 54, was going about his daily commute from Lancing to Brighton when he spotted the chaos on the westbound carriageway as he joined the A27 at 7.30am at the Manor roundabout.

He said: “It was ridiculous and I cannot understand why they would do that at that time of the morning.

“Why do they have to do it in rush hour? It’s just madness.

“That stretch of road is a nightmare at the best of times. I really can’t understand the thought process.”

Motorists were asked for their addresses, where they were travelling to, where from, why they were making the journey and with whom.

Sussex Police were stopping motorists on behalf of survey specialists Sky High Tec.

James Palmer was travelling to work from Beeding to Brighton when he was pulled over near the cement works at Dacre Gardens.

A surveyor began to ask for the 43-year-old’s personal details, but Mr Palmer said he got sceptical and refused to disclose information.

He said his commute had already doubled because of the disruption.

Mr Palmer said: “If they had explained it was a survey for the Highways Agency, I would have been more co-operative but at that stage I was pretty annoyed.

“As soon as he told me I didn’t have to do it, I turned it down, so I can’t understand the police involvement.

“Surely their role is to stop traffic jams, not cause them.”

Sky High Tec confirmed they were contracted to carry out the survey but refused to comment.