Chichester District Council has dismissed the idea that a transport study covering the A27 Fishbourne roundabout was ‘flawed’.
The council was asked to ‘revisit’ advice from West Sussex Highways and Highways England about how well the road network would cope with extra traffic from planned developments, such as the nearby Whitehouse Farm.
The district council’s adopted local plan includes the farm site for a mixed-use development including 1,600 homes. Outline permission has already been given for 750.
During public question time at a meeting at East Pallant House, Andrew Relf predicted the increase in traffic would lead to a ‘mess’ at Fishbourne.
He also said the plans went against local plan policy, which states that new developments should not create or add to problems of highway safety, congestion or air pollution.
The roundabout itself is set for improvement, with a new arm for the link road to the A286, and a ‘hamburger’ road straight across for those staying on the A27.
Mr Relf said: “I know from long experience that Fishbourne roundabout cannot cope now.
“We’ve got six miles of standing traffic eastbound and half a mile of standing traffic from the A259 to the roundabout.
“That is now – if you add all that additional traffic from Whitehouse, the A259, the Manhood and the development south, you have moved up to a very serious level of traffic management.”
Mr Relf also questioned the ‘flawed’ assumption that the new developments would lead to an extra 50 cars on the roads per 100 households.
John Connor (Con, Selsey North), cabinet member for environment services, said: “Chichester District Council does not intend to revisit the conclusions of the transport study that supports the local planning view, as it considers that it is a robust piece of work.”
Mr Connor acknowledged that there may be a need to add to the work done if the result of a public consultation led to changes.
He added: “West Sussex County Council and Highways England have both been consulted as part of the development and transport study and there are no outstanding concerns or issues relating to the traffic modelling.”
Mr Relf was not convinced by the answer and said he would take the matter forward, adding: “The reality of evidence against assumption is what I would like to put forward. It is a very, very serious issue.”