In a number of letters printed in the Chichester Observer there are calls for the northern bypass to be reinstated as an option and a campaign has been started to encourage people to select ‘no option’ in their response to the much anticipated public consultation.
With tightening budgets following the Brexit vote and Highways England tasked with finding £1.2billion-worth of savings across the network, rejecting all of the options risks no improvements whatsoever and stalling the project for many more years.
Chichester doesn’t need improvements in the future. It needs it now, and every opportunity to encourage positive selection of the option that is the very best for Chichester should be taken.
Traffic projections show that option 2 provides a real long term benefit both to through traffic by making the existing A27 a proper bypass, and to local traffic from the Manhood Peninsula by providing a new link road, improving journey times from the Peninsula by around 20 per cent.
The same traffic forecasts published by Highways England show that a northern bypass would have involved no improvements to the existing road and would have provided less substantial benefits for traffic from the Peninsula of just over ten per cent and would have increased local traffic journeys to the north of the city by around five minutes.
There is an opportunity to respond positively and work with Highways England to get a solution that benefits local people and businesses.
It will be one of the five options that are formally being consulted on and does not involve a new bypass. Let’s get behind the best option and not try to delay the project further.
‘Do nothing’ is an option we can all agree is not something that anyone wants.