Outrage after closure of A27

RESIDENTS were up in arms over the eight day closure of a crucial part of the A27.

The A27 eastbound between Portfield Roundabout and Tangmere was closed due to flooding from Friday, December 21, to Saturday, December 29.

But that did not stop thousands of shoppers hitting Chichester’s high-street sales on Boxing Day, with many bargain hunters up bright and early queueing up for the famous Next sales.

However, the volume of traffic and closure of the road did cause problems for some shoppers and angry residents took to social networking sites to express their outrage after the road was closed for a week.

One user called Parkie Leggit commented on the Observer’s website about the closure of the eastbound carriageway and said: “Is it me? Why is this acceptable?

“I think the council and Highways Agency are enjoying a little too much festive fare.

“This is going to be chaos next week when the normal volume of traffic resumes. How can it be acceptable to have a major A road closed for over a week. Very poor.”

A Twitter user called Jamie Dunlop complained about the traffic caused by the closure of the A27, saying: “Chichester traffic is #long! #Sales&Floods.”

Motorists had to use diversions through Westhampnett or Bognor Regis over the festive period, after the main trunk road was closed.

Emma Cooney commented on an Observer story on the closure of the road, and said: “It’s ridiculous. Surely it doesn’t need to be closed that long. It’s making travelling around Chichester hard work!”

Despite the closure of the road and national reports of the rise in online sales shopping, Chichester still had a busy Boxing Day.

A shop assistant who works in West Street’s House of Fraser, said: “It was really busy which surprised me but then died off at about sixish.”

Dartagnan Menswear, an East Street clothing store, had a good Boxing Day, but the store’s Twitter account read: “Best Boxing Day trade ever, yet worst 27th day ever!”

The Highways Agency will continue its drainage improvement work on the A27, after a break over Christmas.

The work is due to finish in February. Narrow lanes will be in place during the daytime and there will be full lane closures from 8pm until 6pm.