LETTER: Condemned by lack of action

In my opinion West Sussex County Council have totally failed in their ability to manage the benefits that would have accrued to the Chichester community if they had secured the £250m road investment in 2017.

WSCC had been working with HE at a cost to the community and as a strategic partner in developing the HE options.

However, instead of providing leadership for the community at that time and properly engaging with Highways England they disowned all options and rejected the investment.

In an effort to rescue something from the ashes of this loss of funding WSCC then set up Build A Better A27 as a consultation group albeit with no terms of reference and no plan.

In the early days I was a fan because I felt that the community needed to have the opportunity to be better engaged with WSCC.

But the promise to form a consensus, for innovative thought, for the proposals to be realistic and based on evidence was not delivered.

Furthermore the late appointment of a consultant (promised in May and achieved in December), the untimely rush to produce a report for the next round of Government funding and their failure to invite HE to meet with BABA27 showed that with no effective management or leadership the output was inevitably compromised.

Monday’s meeting of the WSCC select committee saw a charade of consensus and leadership (I recall the mantra of ‘strong and stable leadership’) being paraded by various councillors to re-inforce their logic to select a preferred concept for the A27.

There was zero evidence provided to support the Art of the Possible that we had all been promised.

Instead we were handed the Art of the Impossible.

Residents of the Chichester area are increasingly realising that WSCC will never deliver the highway improvements we need and because of this Highways England will be the agency with which residents will have to engage directly for the A27 works.

In short, despite the 2011 WSCC Transport Policy we have been condemned through lack of any effective action by WSCC to many, many years of increasing congestion, economic impact, pollution and rat running. Disgraceful.

Nick Reynolds, Pook Lane, Lavant