Road bridge over railway could be included in Southern Gateway options

Gerry Lavelle and Mayor of Chichester Peter Evans
Gerry Lavelle and Mayor of Chichester Peter Evans

A proposal to put a bridge over the railway line in Southgate is set to be put to the district council as an alternative option for regeneration plans.

Interest has been growing in the FreeFlow idea to close both inner city level crossings, with no similar design among the options put forward in the Southern Gateway consultation, which closes on Thursday.

Mayor of Chichester Peter Evans said the chief executive of Chichester District Council has agreed to put forward FreeFlow for inclusion as an option for the Southern Gateway following a public meeting on the idea last Thursday.

Officers will look into costings and the viability of a bridge over the level crossing to see if it can be included in the Southern Gateway Vision.

Responding to the consultation last week, city councillors asked the district council to consider a bridge or tunnel to avoid the Southgate level crossings.

Cllr Evans said he decided to chair the public meeting as an apolitical figure to give residents an opportunity to discuss the plans and he would pass on the minutes to district council officers.

He said: “I was really pleased, it was good to see the people of Chichester having an honest, intelligent debate on the fors and againsts of a bridge over the railway line, and then going back and having their say on the consultation.

“At the presentation to the city council, we saw the merit in it and we felt it should be part of the consultation and the only way I could do that was to hold a public meeting.”

He said there was no conclusion drawn from the meeting, which was soley for discussion.

A link to the online consultation survey can be found at http://www.chichester.gov.uk/currentconsultations