I LOOKED with great interest at the options ‘leaked’ in the Chichester Observer on January 14, and also read the letters published that day.
I am totally against the ‘northern bypass’ options, which would in my opinion totally destroy the character of Chichester for ever. Chichester would become an island in a sea of traffic, totally losing its ‘soft’, permeable boundary toward the Downs. Once done it could never be undone.
Whilst I understand why many people living south of the current A27 are in favour of the northern by pass options, I feel the only acceptable way forward is upgrading the A27 along its current line, but just ‘tweaking’ current junctions will not achieve the level of improvement that is desperately needed – only grade separation of east west through traffic from local traffic will achieve this.
One of the major problems with doing this, however, regardless of how effective the end result would be, is the horrendous disruption that would occur whilst the work was being carried out.
This could easily go on for two years.
I suggest there is an option that would achieve grade separation of through traffic without nearly so much disruption. This is to construct a new road for through traffic immediately abutting the existing road on the south side.
It would link into the existing road just west of the Fishbourne roundabout and just east of the Portfield roundabout. In between it could run at ground level apart from where it needed to crossover on the existing roads going south from the A27 (A286 to Witterings, B2145 to Selsey, A259 to Bognor and B2144 to Tangmere) on new bridges.
The existing bypass and junctions could remain more or less unchanged for local traffic to use.
The advantages of this option would be:
:: No northern by pass, so no disastrous impact on character of Chichester.
:: No northern by pass, so no destruction of large swathes of open fields.
:: Total separation of all A27 east-west through traffic from local traffic.
:: Much less disruption to existing roads whilst construction carried out.
I recognise that there would be a negative impact on properties immediately south of the existing A27 but I feel that overall this option has more advantages and fewer disadvantages than the other options being considered so far.