LETTER: How could they lose the view?

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I have just cycled down the canal towpath to remind myself just how magnificent the view of Chichester Cathedral from the bridge at Hunston is.

Yet Chichester district councillors want to destroy this view for ever by supporting ‘Option 2’ in the Highways England consultation on options for the Chichester A27 bypass – have they taken leave of their senses?

Equally objectionable is the so-called ‘northern bypass’ that was not one of the consultation options, (having been previously dropped by Highways England) which would forever destroy Chichester’s porous northern border with the open countryside, yet many are calling for this to be reinstated as an option for consideration.

There are two options, that are not among those included in the consultation, that would in my view considerably ease the congestion on the A27 bypass without the very damaging environmental effects of either of the above two options, and yet be more effective than the options listed in the consultation.

These are:

* Widen the existing dual carriageway to three lanes in both directions (as in Option 3A) but with flyovers at each roundabout/junction (3A only has flyovers at Fishbourne and Bognor junctions);

* Or build a new dual carriageway immediately south of the existing road, to take all through traffic from the Fishbourne junction until the Portfield junction.

This would be taken over all the intermediate roads on flyovers, leaving the existing junctions/roundabouts purely for local traffic.

This would have the added advantage of less disruption during construction to the existing road network than other options.

I did suggest this option in a letter to your paper back in February this year, which I then copied to Highways England, and senior county council and district councillors, but no-one took up the suggestion.

I accept that both options would have land use implications adjacent to the line of the existing bypass and some negative impacts, particularly in Stockbridge, but feel this is preferable to destroying a wide swathe of open countryside.

John Wilton

York Road

Chichester