Is community severance a price worth paying?
The purpose of a bypass is to ‘let traffic flow without interference from local traffic and to reduce congestion in the built-up area’.
None of the five remaining options for the A27 will achieve these aims.
Any option that involves restricting exits on and off the Manhood Peninsula, such as no right hand turns, will inevitably force more local traffic either through Chichester itself or to drive longer distances up and down the A27.
When the local roads on the Manhood are congested or blocked, many residents rely on being able to use all the current A27 junctions.
My ability to visit, or care for, my parents and mother-in-law will be made more difficult with every option, as increasing traffic on the Manhood’s roads and more restricted access on and off the A27 will reduce my travel options from Birdham to Bosham and back. Can this be right?
Indeed, the Highways own consultation states that ‘’significant adverse effects are anticipated in terms of community severance’’ for all five options.
Meanwhile, the predicted local travel times saved will be very marginal, while for some local routes journey times will actually increase.
We must also consider the impact on the Manhood’s and Chichester’s environment and its closely linked tourist economy: flyovers potentially disrupting unique views of the Cathedral from cyclepaths and footpaths used by residents and visitors; more local traffic opting to take short cuts through the town or across the middle of the peninsula, disrupting the quiet roads currently used by cyclists and crossed by walkers.
Unfortunately, the consultation dates for the Manhood peninsula, the community whose economy, environment and social cohesion are most under threat, are all in September, the same month the consultation ends!
As a result, I urge all Manhood residents to try and have a look at the proposals in advance and consider carefully the consequences of all options – socially, economically and environmentally. At the moment I will be ticking the box that says ‘No Option’ but will be very happy to be convinced otherwise.