Most settlements in West Sussex are either along the south coast or in Mid Sussex, near the M23/A23 corridor. The town of Crawley is the largest in the county with an estimated population of 101,300. The coastal settlement of Worthing closely follows with a population of 100,200 . The seaside resort of Bognor Regis and market town Horsham are both large towns. Chichester, the county town, has a cathedral and city status, and is situated not far from the border with Hampshire. Other towns of a similar size are Burgess Hill, East Grinstead and Haywards Heath in the Mid Sussex district, Littlehampton in the Arun district, and Lancing, Southwick and Shoreham in the Adur district.
Rustington and Southwater are the next largest settlements in the county. There are several more towns in West Sussex, although they are of similar size to other villages. The smaller towns of the county are Arundel, Midhurst, Petworth, and Steyning. The larger villages are Billingshurst, Copthorne, Crawley Down, Cuckfield, Henfield, Hassocks, Hurstpierpoint, Lindfield, Pulborough, and Storrington.
Communications and transport
The M23 Motorway runs from London to the south of Crawley. The A23 and A24 roads run from London to Brighton and Worthing respectively with the A29 a little further west ending in Bognor Regis. Other major roads are the A272 which runs east to west through the middle of the county and the A27 which does the same but closer to the coast. The A259 is a local alternate route to the A27 in the eastern coastal strip.
Gatwick Airport, which handled over 32 million passengers in 2005, is located within the borders of Crawley, and is the second largest airport in the United Kingdom. There is also a considerably smaller local airport at Shoreham and a grass airfield handling light aircraft and helicopters at Goodwood. There are three main railway routes: the Brighton Main Line, the Arun Valley Line and the West Coastway Line.
West Sussex is officially the sunniest county in the United Kingdom according to Met Office records over 29 years with an average 1902 hours per year. This compares with 1710 hours per year for Devon which is in second place.
West Sussex County Council, based at County Hall Chichester, provides a large range of services including education, social services, fire and rescue, libraries, town and country planning, refuse disposal and consumer services. In addition, there are seven local government districts within the county of West Sussex:
This is a table of trend of regional gross value added of West Sussex at current basic prices published by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
The following are some of the companies based in West Sussex:
Roche Diagnostics UK
Network Technology PLC
Virgin Atlantic Airways
TUI Travel PLC
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
RSA Insurance Group
The Body Shop
Ricardo PLC head office
Bowers & Wilkins
See also: List of schools in West Sussex
West Sussex has a comprehensive education system, with 36 county-maintained secondary schools, one Academy and over 20 independent senior schools. In addition, primary education is provided through a mix of around 240 infant, junior, primary, first and middle schools.
West Sussex County Council has 70 councillors; the majority of them being Conservative. There are 47 Conservative councillors, 16 Liberal Democrats, and 7 Labour Party councillors.
As of the 2010 general election, West Sussex is represented entirely by Conservative MPs, after the only Labour Party seat in the county in 2005, Crawley swung to the Conservatives.
Arundel & South Downs - Nick Herbert, Conservative, 57.8%
Bognor Regis & Littlehampton - Nick Gibb, Conservative, 51.4%
Chichester - Andrew Tyrie, Conservative, 55.3%
Crawley - Henry Smith, Conservative, 44.8%
Horsham - Francis Maude, Conservative, 52.7%
Mid Sussex - Nicholas Soames, Conservative, 50.7%
Worthing East & Shoreham - Tim Loughton, Conservative, 48.5%
Worthing West - Peter Bottomley, Conservative, 51.7%
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