Concerns that an A27 bypass would create a ‘climate of uncertainy’ have been raised by a local campaign group.
In response, county council leader Louise Goldsmith said the process of choosing an option for the A27 was always going to be difficult.
A Summersdale A27 Action Group spokesman said: “The group is concerned the consequences of a new bypass would be to create a climate of uncertainty on such a scale, for up to ten years, that businesses, tourism promoters, and other long-term strategic investors would take their plans elsewhere.
“If you bypass a small and fragile economy like Chichester, taking demand for retail and services elsewhere, because it is easier to go to Portsmouth or Brighton then that is what people will certainly do.”
But Mrs Goldsmith said: ‘Finding a solution for the Chichester A27 has always been and will continue to be difficult.
“The Build a Better A27 group (BABA27) was set up to give communities a voice.
“It is made up of people who are able to represent a wider community view and consists of groups such as a parish council, residents associations and campaign groups. Together, they agreed guiding principles and this included that all options should be on the table.
“The BABA27 group have been working to find a solution. A long list of options was drawn up and in the spirit of openness we have shared this publically and have sought views. No decision has been made and whatever BABA27 decides, it will have to go through the WSCC decision process to make a recommendation to Highways England.
“It is a recommendation only and it will be decided by the group – it is not for me to decide.”
For analysis of the different options for A27 improvement as they currently stand, visit our website.
The BAB27 is due to meet in Chichester tomorrow – visit our website for a report on Thursday morning.