I used to be a supporter of the A27 northern route, but I now see what a complete and utter disaster this would be.
I have discussed various options with road designers and have come to the following conclusion.
The present route should remain with minor re-alignment.
The current four lanes should be disconnected from all the present junctions and become the Chichester expressway.
Two more lanes should then be added either side (totally separate from the centre four).
These lanes would be connected to all the present junctions (left on, left off only) for all local traffic.
All roads in or out of the city: Oving, Bognor, Whyke and Wittering, should also go straight UNDER all eight lanes. The expressway and local road will have three interconnecting junctions at Sainsbury, Bognor bridge and Tesco, this will allow for through traffic to travel unhindered by stops and starts at junctions, thus dramatically reducing pollution levels, especially from heavy lorries.
Local traffic east/west will then also move unhindered – another pollution reduction.
Local traffic in/out of the city will pass under the road, again unhindered.
The current high pollution levels are caused by traffic idling at or accelerating hard away from junctions and traffic lights.
All of the serious traffic accidents happen at the junctions; these will be avoided but if needed traffic could be diverted onto either road while an incident is being dealt with safely and above all with minimal disruption to traffic flow.
This proposal will cost about £0.5 to £0.6 billion (about half what Nick Leeson lost in a bad day at the office) but will transform traffic flow around Chichester for the next 75 years.
I know the upheaval, demolition, construction and relocations will be very considerable but I think a worthwhile solution will be the envy of other cities.
The northern route and the southern link road will be a dream come true for developers as they would open opportunities to vast profits being made by national house builders as a result of mass housing along these routes (as the councils and local plans will be swept aside by legal challenges) the national park could also be overruled as housing is needed ‘in the national interest’.
If housing development is necessary and granted, let the developers pay a large contribution to build the roads needed for the developments.
I know this will be a very unpopular idea but if you want a Roman city to adapt to the 21st/22nd century we will have to take some radical measures on transport to stop our beautiful city and surrounding rural landscape being choked to death by congested roads and piecemeal development.
This is just a thought but if £0.6 billion is too expensive for this project, is the proposed £4 billion reasonable for the renovation of our outdated Parliament buildings when £0.6 billion will buy a brand new purpose-built parliament just like the Scots have?
Is it not time to ditch the naive optimistic penny pinching ways of the highways, town and local councils, take the bull by the horns, demand a review of the past surveys and sort this road out properly.
After all, if you wanted a bigger home, would you build the extension the other side of town?
P C Chandler