LETTER: North residents left vulnerable
I am no expert when it comes to talking about cars and roads, but It was very obvious from the beginning that the architect of the bypass options had very little local knowledge.
As a villager, I have lived north of Chichester all my 60 years and for the Northern bypass to work it would need a flyover across the A286, or underpass.
The only surgery that serves the communities of Lavant, Binderton, West Dean, Singleton, Charlton and East Dean and makes house calls is 100 yards across the other side of the proposed bypass. However, I have been told this cannot be reached according to the last options unless we drive along the northern bypass to either Fishbourne or Tangmere and either double back or go through Chichester as the A286 finishes when it reaches the bypass from the north and the south.
This seems like discrimination as I cannot see buses taking either route, thus leaving those vulnerable locals to the north that rely on the bus service for the doctors having no choice but to relocate.
There is also the worry that most A286 traffic will use the Goodwood Road (Singleton - Chichester Motel) as this would have a flyover. This road has a one in five hill, corners that go against the camber and narrowed areas. Hardly a month goes by all year without an accident, the road is regularly closed because of this with many serious injuries and fatalities over the years. The winter is the worst and even the gritting lorry had an accident a few years ago during snow and was abandoned.
Then there is the emergency services especially during Goodwood events. My grandson when three years old and with severe breathing difficulties had his emergency ambulance stopped by a person directing traffic at Goodwood and the crew had to argue their case causing delay to my grandsons vital care. What if there was a fire, where would the fire tenders come from, police cars?
Goodwood generates a huge amount of local employment. The events and permanent facilities fill hotels and local boarding houses, generate tourism for the coast and Chichester. It is those areas that make the estate viable, without them various areas of land would need to be sold off to maintain it; the continuity and nature of the countryside that has flourished for over 300 years thanks to the Richmond family would be lost at a stroke of a pen.
Without mentioning aesthetics, I personally do not believe any of the options are wholly workable or acceptable because of the damage it would cause to communities.
We have a large amount of family living south of Chichester and we all agree that the only logical and acceptable option would be flyovers and underpasses to the Fishbourne, Southgate and Bognor roundabouts or flyovers at Fishbourne and the Bognor roundabouts and a new road with underpass between Fishbourne and Southgate leading to south of Donnington A286 for the Wittering Road.
It is a sad state of affairs and I would hate to be the person that makes the decision. The only option for me would be for Highways England to go back to the drawing board and start again taking on board all they have learnt from the consultations so far and give us something more acceptable!