VIDEO: A27 footbridge plans revealed in light of safety fears

A NEW footbridge aims to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the A27 at Chichester.

People have long talked of the need for a pedestrian footbridge near the Whyke roundabout, and now it looks like their wish could be coming true.

The Highways Agency has revealed plans for the bridge ahead of a public exhibition on Tuesday between 3pm and 7pm at the Guide Hall, 29 Whyke Lane.

“This is a very important development for Chichester and will be an incredibly valuable community access route for our new school site at the Carmelite Convent,” said Chichester Free School principal Guy Martyn.

The school plans to move from its current base in Vinnetrow Road to the disused convent, in Hunston Road.

“Many of our pupils wish to travel to school by sustainable means and this footbridge makes pedestrian and cycle access to the convent site possible,” he said.

“As a cycling commuter myself I am very excited about the healthy travel opportunities the new footbridge offers to our pupils and all those who wish to use this great link between those rural communities south of the A27 and Chichester itself.” Mark Chapman, who lives in Hunston, frequently has to cross the A27 on his bike at the roundabout.

He spoke to the Observer on Friday (January 9) to highlight the dangers of crossing the road on foot, prior to the Highways Agency announcing its plans on Tuesday.

“This road, the A27 at Whyke Road, is a very dangerous place,” he said.

“There have been a few near misses including for me. I’ve been cycling this road 20 or 30 years and I’ve never known the traffic so bad and really you only have to look at the traffic to see how difficult it is to cross.”

He said what the area really needed was a bridge.

Highways Agency asset manager Peter Phillips said: “Safety is a top priority for the Highways Agency and by installing this footbridge we will be providing pedestrians with a safe way to cross the busy A27.”

He invited anyone wanting to know more to come to the exhibition.