THE government’s pledge of £350million to improve the A27 between Arundel and Lewes has been widely praised, though questions are now being asked over what damage that could do to Chichester.
The money is part of a government promise to spend £15.2bn on more than 80 of the worst roads in the country.
Up to £250m will go on a long-awaited bypass in Arundel, with the rest on expansion projects around Worthing, Lancing and Lewes.
Last year £69m was pledged to improve Chichester’s notoriously-congested junctions and Monday’s announcement reaffirmed that as a ‘committed scheme’.
But with traffic set to move more freely to the east on the A27, questions have been asked over whether that money will be enough to prevent Chichester becoming a bottleneck for the entire trunk road.
Chichester MP Andrew Tyrie said: “This is a welcome if overdue scheme. Everyone, particularly the local business community, badly needs improvements to east-west traffic flows.
“But it’s absolutely vital that the Chichester roundabouts and traffic lights are improved, and dramatically.
And speaking about the money ‘agreed in principle’ for Chichester, he added: “I remain deeply concerned that it may not be adequate given the extra traffic that will come once the Arundel and Worthing bottlenecks are removed and the extra houses, which the area is being expected to absorb.
“Taken together, the pressure of extra traffic could be huge.”
The city’s businesses have also raised serious concerns that Chichester could become the ‘pressure point’ of an ‘all-new A27’.
Louise Hopkins, Chichester Chamber of Commerce chairman, while welcoming the news, warned: “The effectiveness of the improvements outlined for the Chichester junctions remains to be seen.
“What would be frustrating is if Chichester became the pressure point of the future all-new A27.”
Do you think about the latest plans for Arundel to Lewes will cause more congestion around Chichester?
Are you confident the planned work on the Chichester bypass will take place and be sufficient to cope?
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