New report ignores sustainable transport
Following the controversy around upgrading the A27 at Chichester and with deep divisions as to what should happen, the Government pulled the plug on the scheme in early 2017.
West Sussex County Council then set up a series of local community meetings to supposedly try and build consensus around a solution to the A27. Unfortunately, what started out as potentially promising process quickly went downhill when it was clear that they weren’t really interested in sustainable transport options, only new roads. The report they commissioned from consultants fudged the outcome proposing both a northern bypass with mitigation and an online upgrade of the existing southern route, while completely sidelining walking, cycling and public transport.
Responses to Highways England consultation on the A27 options around Chichester
The consultation on Highways England’s 5 options for upgrading the A27 around Chichester ended on 22 September, 2016. It has proved controversial with many people against all of the options, either because they don’t want more money wasted on road building or because they wanted the northern bypass route reinstated.
The following are the responses submitted to the consultation by some SCATE members:
- Campaign for Better Transport
- Campaign for Better Transport – East Sussex Group
- CPRE Sussex
In March 2016, after words were had behind closed doors, Highways England were told to drop the northern bypass and to get on with the job they were tasked with (upgrading the existing A27). Prior to that Highways England has spent the past year working on alternative schemes for expanding the A27 around Chichester, including a northern bypass. Two northern bypass options (4 & 5) were developed and estimated to cost £332.1m and £307.8m respectively and would have taken 2 years to build:
In addition, quite a few variations on upgrading the southern (existing) route were produced, including option 6 which came in at a staggering £583.2m and would have taken 3 years to build.
Prior to this it was accepted that the way forward was to upgrade the existing junctions on the A27 to reduce congestion. The scheme was listed in the roads programme, the only issue appeared to be a lack of funding or a start date.
When it become apparent that a northern bypass of Chichester was firmly back on the cards, local people were up in arms. They formed a new group, Chichester Deserves Better, that has joined the SCATE network, and which attracted widespread support with over 4,000 signatures on its petition against a northern bypass. This successfully saw the northern route removed as an option.