Anger as plans for A27 footbridge hit the buffers

A community has reacted with anger to news that plans for a footbridge across the A27 in Chichester have been scrapped despite preparation work for it already getting under way.

In 2009 the Highways Agency, who were leading the project, said work was to start in March 2010 and was expected to take around four months to complete.

But work still had not started by November last year when it was announced that funding for improvements for the A27 had been scaled back as a result of the spending review, but the 42m long footbridge would still go ahead.

Chairman of the Whyke Estate Residents Association Steve Taylor said: “We were really excited about having it put up. They went as far as taking down 12 trees in preparation.

“It would have given really good access to the local countryside south of the A27 which is pretty inaccessible.

“We have always been very concerned about the risk they run every evening and morning going to the hostel.

“This is a big blow to the local community. We are very concerned about the affect it may have and the very real risk for endangering life for those who have to cross the A27 at that point.”

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “Given the current fiscal climate, we do not believe the construction of the A27 Kingsham footbridge scheme will be prioritised for funding in the foreseeable future.

“We will continue to bid for funding in forthcoming years and the design work already completed will put us in a good position if funding does become available.”