We have learnt a number of very important things from the recent Freedom of Information releases.
The director of Highways England MP IDC (The Ministry of Transport’s major road constructors) stated on the 18.12.15, item 3.12 that improvements could be made to the A27 within the Road Investment Strategy (RIS), (but that) “Government has asked for a strategy that is short term which isn’t right but we’re spending money to look at options that defend why we’re doing what is not right.”
Thus, we have the contractor with the expertise, rightly telling Government that the Southern options are wrong. Pretty damning eh?
In a letter written by Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport on the (10.10.16) to Andrew Tyrie, MP for Chichester, stated: “alternative routes previously considered, such as the Northern route which could impact on the Goodwood circuit and other important infrastructure,” would not be considered.
Earlier a similar letter written by the then Under Secretary, Andrew Jones on the 03.03 16 to Nick Herbert MP for Arundel (what has he got to do with Chichester?) stated: (the RIS will not include) “alternative routes …such as a northern route which could impact on the Goodwood estate.”
We are not told what is so important about the ‘circuit’, ‘infrastructure’, or ‘estate’ that they transcend other considerations such as the importance of relieving Chichester of the 46 per cent of through traffic, deteriorating air quality, increased traffic accidents, demolition of property and other factors.
In the 43 pages of reports, meetings, notes etcetera, there are many redactions covering persons or organisations who attended.
Four times reference is made to: “however, northern routes will not be included that could impact the (redaction).”
The length of each redaction can be measured and is between 12 and 15 characters.
So, I wonder if the reader can guess at who the redactions refer?
We need a properly funded, separate A27 by-pass, now and for the future.
We can surmise that Highways England have been pressured into avoiding planning and submitting the obvious; a northern route.
Who by and why? We need to know.