This could be outcome of the recent Highways England consultation on making changes to the A27 around Chichester. With many people opting to vote for none of the above, Highways England could be left in a difficult situation. If none of its 5 options receive much support and indeed most people vote against any option, where does it go from here?
We suspect that it will just plough ahead doing what it wants to do, as it usually does. However, if the outcome is that most people are unhappy with the choice before them it would make sense to halt the process and take stock. Particularly as the proposals are so divisive.
The problem is that Highways England and many politicians look at issues in a one-dimension way, in complete isolation to other factors. Yet we have some serious issues to face up to such as:
- climate change and the need for transport to cut its carbon emissions
- high levels of air pollution in our towns and cities
- an obesity epidemic, which costs the NHS in Sussex nearly £500 million a year
- and in 2035, 10% of the population in Sussex are likely to suffer from diabetes
New roads generally, add to all the above problems, while at the same time consuming vast amounts of public resource. It seems crazy that we are not investing our money into reducing these impacts and the huge cost to the NHS. Invest to save, not spend to waste should be the aim and should be the guiding principles for future investment in our transport network.