The Observer has received questions from readers following the publication of the Your Say form about building a better A27.
Below are the key queries that have been raised – together with responses from West Sussex County Council.
How much will the views on the Observer form and online surveys be taken into consideration when compiling the short list?
All the entries in whatever form they have been submitted will be collated by West Sussex County Council and the findings presented to the Build A Better A27 (BABA27) group for consideration.
When will maps be drawn up to show the suggested routes?
Once a shortlist has been developed by the BABA27 group there will need to be further work done to provide more detail, and that will include maps.
Has cost been considered in the suggestions? Why is this detail not included?
We’ve been very clear throughout this process that no suggestion should be ‘off the table’ and we have been reluctant to let costs dictate the suggestions the group has put forward.
However there are some suggestions where it is clear without detailed work that the cost would not be achievable in any circumstances and these suggestions have been put ‘below the line;, ie they will not be taken forward.
However, where there are schemes that could be higher cost than those submitted by Highways England we need to do more detailed work to look at what those costs are and whether that is achievable. If they are not achievable through the next phase of the Road Investment Strategy then there may be other funding streams we can look at.
Where will the money come from to fund the changes?
We intend to apply for funding from Highways England through the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) phase 2 however there may be other funding streams which are suitable.
What happens with the data/responses next, how is it processed?
All the forms submitted, online or paper, will be collated by West Sussex County Council and entered into an online system for analysis. We will then present that information back to the Build a Better A27 group to consider.
Will there be a formal public consultation further down the line?
Yes, there will be more chances to comment and give views. Any scheme that is submitted back to Highways England will be subject to the normal formal public consultation.
How involved is Highways England at this stage?
They have been kept informed of the process we are taking and the longlist of suggestions.
Can you give us a timeline of the next stages.
People’s views will be fed into the Build a Better A27 group who will be commenting in detail on the suggestions.
The consultant, SYSTRA, will then carry out some more detailed assessment of these proposals and will feed this back to the group on the April 18 before they produce their final report in May.
This will then go through West Sussex County Council and Chichester District Council’s governance processes to form a recommendation for Highways England.
That recommendation will be submitted back to Highways England for their consideration and a final decision over the future of the road will be made by them on whether to include the A27 Chichester in the RIS programme.
If there is not a clear supported option, what is the likelihood of nothing happening and no action on our A27?
There are a number of suggestions that have been put forward and those could lead to a single route or a package of improvements brought together to improve this stretch of the road.
The whole point of this exercise was to give people the chance to air their views and have their say on how the A27 could be improved.
This is something that has not formed part of the previous consultation about this stretch of road.
The county council’s Your Say form can be found in this week’s Observer. The deadline to submit your views is March 29.
Read about the latest options for the A27 here: www.chichester.co.uk/news/transport/a27-around-chichester-what-are-our-options-1-8416128
Several people have written letters to the Observer on the subject. You can read them here www.chichester.co.uk/news/your-say
West Sussex County Council leader, Louise Goldsmith, has urged residents to have their say: www.chichester.co.uk/news/transport/residents-urged-to-have-their-say-on-suggestions-for-a27-1-8416148
For an A27 timeline, see here: www.chichester.co.uk/news/a27-timeline-a-stop-start-saga-1-8416783