Government to spend up to £181m on Chichester’s A27

The project will now focus on upgrading four junctions along Chichester's stretch of road
The project will now focus on upgrading four junctions along Chichester's stretch of road

Between £122m and £181m is expected to be spent on Chichester’s A27 scheme.

The government’s latest estimate came on the same day it was announced that a new northern bypass had officially been dropped from proposals.

Instead, the four major junctions will be upgraded along the current stretch.

Andrew Jones, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), gave the estimated figure of between £122m and £181m for Chichester on Friday, March 4.

It was in response to a written question from Richard Burden, Shadow Minister (Transport), who asked how much was being spent on each road project in London and the South East announced on December 1, 2014.

After many months of controversy over a possible new bypass between the north of Chichester and Lavant, as well as a partial new southern route, Highways England dropped plans away from the existing route, despite previously stating that all seven route options would go to public consultation.

While some are furious, they won’t now get to see all the previous options, a county councillor joined others in calling the decision ‘good news for everyone’.

Jeremy Hunt, West Sussex county councillor representing Chichester North, said: “I am delighted that Highways England (HE) have finally seen sense and decided to concentrate their efforts on upgrading the existing A27.

“It would appear that this decision followed clear guidance to HE from Government Ministers to concentrate on the work they were supposed to be doing, which was to bring forward plans to upgrade the four major junctions on the existing road.

“So why did consultants Mott Macdonald waste many months, and no doubt hundreds of thousands of pounds, working on plans that were clearly outside the remit of the original proposals? I’m sure that we will never know the answers to those questions, but at least we will now get the best result for all the residents of Chichester and the surrounding area.

“This is good news for everyone, from those who live to the north of the city whose lives will no longer be blighted by the prospect of a new road; as well as for the residents who live to the south, who could have been facing the long term prospect of little or no improvement to their daily misery of having to cross the A27.

“This decision will also be a huge boost to the many businesses situated both to the north and to the south of the city.”

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