County council’s A27 approach aims to ‘maximise community consensus’

Aerial view of A27 at Chichester
Aerial view of A27 at Chichester

West Sussex County Council’s decision to select a mitigated northern route as its preferred option with a full southern route as a reasonable alternative is based on its aim to ‘maximise consensus with the community’.

The Build a Better A27 group employed consultants Systra to come up with conceptual ideas as it looks to secure Government funding for improvements.

Two options were identified: a mitigated northern route and a full southern route.

The county council’s cabinet member for highways and infrastructure Bob Lanzer is set to write to Highways England requesting the A27 Chichester scheme be included in the next roads investment strategy, stating that the mitigated northern route is the authority’s preferred option but the full southern route should also be developed as a reasonable alternative.

The cabinet member decision was published this afternoon (Tuesday June 5).

Mr Lanzer said: “This decision has been made after a long process of listening to the views of the community, attending the Build a Better A27 group meetings and considering the full report produced by Systra as well as the comments of our select committee.

“It is important that we put in both a preferred and an alternative option to Highways England to maximise consensus with the community at this stage. A lot of work has gone into engaging the community and we want to build on this momentum.

“Key to our success in achieving these improvements to the A27 is local consensus and we are hopeful that our partners, including Chichester District Council, will be aligned with our decision.”

This decision will be submitted to Highways England for consideration as part of the Government’s next round of funding for RIS2 (Road Investment Strategy 2). The county council would like to see both schemes fully assessed by Highways England and taken forward to statutory consultation, with its expressed preference being for the route to the north.

Chichester District Council cabinet members are currently being recommended to promote both options as ‘being desirable without indicating a preference for either option’ when they meet on Friday (June 8).

What do you think of the decision? Email the newsdesk.