Build a tunnel to the north to solve A27 bypass issues

Southwick Tunnel
Southwick Tunnel

Having attended all but one of the ‘Build a better A27’ meetings, we seem to be little nearer to the hoped for consensus. Time perhaps to look again at the problem as a public health hazard.

If any major work is undertaken to the existing southern route, this will exacerbate the already critical pollution problem during construction work, and this is likely to continue after completion as the additional ‘induced’ road usage will probably cancel out any air quality improvement.

As noted recently in your letters pages, the prevailing winds are from the south west, so it’s not just those of us in the vicinity of the A27 who are at risk, but our entire city.

Air pollution is increasingly being implicated in respiratory disease and is listed regularly as a contributory factor in premature death. Is this what we are prepared to accept for our city? Particularly for our children who make no contribution to the problem but are obliged to suffer its consequences.

Either we must get the traffic off the roads, which would remove the imperative for more engineering, or move the roads to a location where the potential harmful and damaging emissions will have less impact.

If we must have an upgrade, a northern tunnel would be the obvious answer, taking both air and noise pollution away from the city and minimising the impact on our precious landscape; but Highways England claim that it would be too expensive.

In one short statement they have told us that the health and well-being of Chichester residents will cost too much. It seems that they can afford to worsen our air quality, but not to improve it.

Tunnels may be expensive but a lifetime of care for just one child with serious respiratory disease would probably cost as much or more.

I looked with interest at the ‘mitigating’ measures suggested by Systra for a proposed northern route; landscaped bridges and sunken carriageways; almost a tunnel?

Alan Carn, Whyke Road, Chichester