LETTER: A27: Only viable option to north
I would like to add additional comments to the objections raised against all the southerly routes proposed in the consultation.
Clearly, all these routes involve, to a greater or lesser degree, the wanton destruction of historic views (Turner aspect etc) and domestic properties, including a listed building. But, as I clarified with a Highways staff member at last month’s Chichester Consultation, the ‘cost’ figures in their report do not include any costs incurred by the drivers of the vehicles impeded by the works nor those by the residents of Chichester.
In fact, the staff seemed to think the traffic delays on the A27 during the possible 41 months of construction (with no over-run!) would be minimal. This is naive and misleading.
On Saurday 6th July, residents in the north of Chichester had a foretaste of what it will be like: total gridlock of Oaklands Road, the entries to St Paul’s roundabout from that road, St Paul’s Road and Broyle Road from 8.30am to 12.30pm. The police advise that, although the basic cause was a fatal traffic accident near Goodwood, a contributory factor was county council roadworks in the vicinity. Had they not heard of the Goodwood Festival of Speed?
Traffic in all those alternative routes to Goodwood was almost stationary for up to four hours with all leaving their engines running and polluting the air the local resdients were forced to breathe. This will be the norm from dawn to dusk every day during construction of any of the southern bypass proposed ‘improvements’.
It has been established by research staff at three universities (Lancaster, Oxford and Manchester) that ‘magnetic particles produced by car engines and brakes can travel into the human brain and may trigger Alzheimer’s disease’ (a direct quote from the Daily Telegraph).
Where, in Highways calculation of the ‘cost’ of the various options is this cost shown or the danger recognised? Nowhere. On page 2 of the Highways Consultation document, reference is made to the ‘air quality management areas’ declared by the local district council at Stockbridge Road junction, St Pancras and Orchard Street.
Why is there not one at the junction of Broyle Road and St Paul’s roundabout, where there are regular blockages? And why did the county council, when blocking off the third lane of the roundabout for a cycle lane not paint Keep Clear boxes where three traffic streams enter the roundabout? On 6 July, all these entries were blocked by standing traffic. This will be the daily norm if any southern ‘improvement’ scheme for the A27 is adopted.
The only viable solution is a northern bypass, which will have the least impact on the people of Chichester and those who are passing by or through (including to the expanding populist activities at Goodwood).
John H Pollard