Why is there no option in the Chichester Bypass Improvement Scheme consultation document for simply slowing traffic down?
By this, I mean the imposition of speed limits on all existing roundabouts on the ring-road. When traffic travels more slowly, more vehicles can occupy the road. This would allow for the increased volume of vehicles that occurs around each of the Chichester roundabouts.
We can look to more than double the volume of traffic that could safely occupy the bypass, and be progressing at a steady 30mph, simply by dropping the speed limit to 30mph along it.
Yes, journeys would be slowed, but again, if we do the maths on this, if traffic can move continuously along the three miles of the bypass, even at 30mph, it would take just six minutes to get from the Fishbourne roundabout to the Portfield roundabout.* At quieter times of the day, when a higher speed restriction could be allowed, the journey would be even quicker.
*It may be that the Oving crossroads could be restructured as a roundabout
Here are all the potential benefits, as I see them, of such an option:
:: Bypassing Chichester along the A27 would take a reasonable and predictable length of time
:: Vehicular progress into and out of town would also flow far better, because more cars would be able to be on each roundabout at any one time. This would impact positively on local buses, whose progress must be supported
:: It would involve a fraction of the cost of the other more ‘ambitious’ plans::n It would be a totally reversible experiment – if it ever proved unfit for purpose, changes could easily be made
:: There would be a positive impact on local air pollution levels because steady traffic flow would be facilitated
:: It would avoid all the negative environmental impact that goes with ripping out existing roads and building new ones, especially flyovers. The impact is both local and global, of course
:: The three existing pedestrian and cycle bridges over the bypass could remain in place. As a dog walker who lives in town yet wants access to the countryside, these bridges are crucial to me. I used to risk my life, carrying my 20kg dog over the bypass before the fabulous bridge at the bottom of Whyke Road was built.