Better drainage of the A27 is one thing, but what about the other roads that flood inside the A27, for example Fishbourne Road East, which is where the water that floods the A27 immediately west of Fishbourne roundabout originates from.
Fishbourne Road East floods because water is forced overland as result of an ill-proportioned culvert that doglegs under Fishbourne Road East to the rear of the Fishbourne Tesco superstore, thus creating a bottleneck in the river system.
The culvert, due to its proportions, cannot adequately cope with the high volumes of water entering this system of fast-flowing streams which drain a patchwork of fields lying south of Lavant, and which converge on a single waterway that enters this culvert.
Surely prevention is better than cure.
Better drainage of the A27 will do nothing to prevent flooding within the A27.
Flooding that blights both business and domestic dwellings as well as the many commuters, walkers and cyclists that use this road and national cycleway.
I have raised this issue several times with both the council and the Highways Agency, providing them with photographic evidence and dimensions of the culvert, which is not only of inadequate proportion, but also has the additional fault of a right-angle bend at its opening, which clearly compounds the problem.
The stock response has thus far been ‘no can do due to lack of funds‘.
I am not convinced the engineers, project managers and agencies fully understand the problem.
Water that ultimately comes off the South Downs needs to flow freely and uninterrupted along its course, this means no bottlenecks so as to prevent overspill and wash, flooding indiscriminately overland through property and onto the A27.
The A27 floods at a point just west of the Fishbourne Roundabout due to this surface water surge migrating uncontrollably south from Fishbourne Road East and onto Appledram Lane North, and then on to the A27, as a result of not entering the culvert.
I repeat, due to the culvert acting as a bottleneck and thus failing to cope with the large volumes of water wanting to flow under Fishbourne Road East and continue on its journey to the sea.
Fix this, you fix the problem, at a fraction of the price and causing a minimum of disruption.
For other sections of the A27 I can’t speak, but suspect it is the same problem.
We know the consequences of narrowing of the arteries on our own bodies.
This is no different.
I’m afraid however, to all those affected, it may be a question of watching and waiting.
Also, why is the Highways Agency using an engineer consultant?