A list of suggestions for the way forward for the A27 at Chichester has been presented to the community group tasked with mapping out the way ahead.
Now West Sussex County Council is asking for your views – what do you think is the right thing for the city and the surrounding area?
Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council wants your initial feedback on some of the ideas the group has come up with to make sure the whole community has a say in how we get the vital road improved.
The Build a Better A27 group was formed back in March 2017 when Highways England announced it would not fund improvements for that part of the road because the community could not come to a consensus on the right solution for the road.
Louise Goldsmith, said: “The A27 is absolutely crucial in keeping our county moving, keeping our economy buoyant and making the city a place where people want to live, work and visit. Any improvements to this route have to work for the city and the surrounding areas. We were so disappointed with the options presented by Highways England and the effect they had on the community. That’s why we, together with Chichester District Council and our MP, brought together those with an interest in the community to see if they could agree a solution that works for everyone. This is about listening to our community and giving Highways England the information they need to build the right road for us.”
As part of this work highways consultant SYSTRA has been commissioned to look again at ways of improving the Chichester stretch of the road. They have now produced a longlist of suggestions based on feedback and work by the community and business groups which form part of the Build a Better A27 group.
That longlist includes analysis of the routes previously put forward by Highways England, potential improvements to the current road and other routes.
To give your views visit: https://haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/highways-and-transport/build-a-better-a27/.
Your views will be fed into the Build a Better A27 group who started their own discussions at a meeting last night (March 15). They have been tasked with getting more views from the communities they represent. SYSTRA will then carry out some more detailed assessments of these proposals and will feed this back to the group w/c 16 April before they produce their final report in May. This will then go through West Sussex County Council and Chichester District Council’s decision making processes to form a recommendation for Highways England.
That recommendation will be submitted back to Highways England for their consideration and a final decision over the future of the road will be made by them. A decision is expected in late summer.
How to submit your views
The survey includes a longlist of suggestions and ideas that could ease congestion on the A27. These have been collated from discussions by the Build a Better A27 group. They range from smaller improvements to the existing route – known as on-line suggestions – to whole new route plans that have not been discussed before.
We need to know what you think of the ideas and whether they are either – something you would be supportive of, something you could be supportive of but more work is needed, or something you could not support.
It is important to note that the impact score given to each idea is simply about how well it could improve congestion (0 being no impact to 5 being significant impact). This is an initial assessment based on available data and is dependent on further work. The next step is to really examine the ideas for their environmental impact, the financial viability, the impact on landscape or local communities and a whole range of other factors that affect how a road improvement is viewed both by the community but also by Highways England in formulating their views on whether a scheme is viable.
Alongside the suggestions are a range of transport improvements about changing the way people use the road, for example cycling, walking and public transport. SYSTRA, the consultant commissioned by the group, has been clear that these options alone would not be enough to fix the significant traffic congestion on the road. However they are vital in making sure any improvements are sustainable and meet the needs of the community and the environment. We also want your views on those.
Paper copies of the survey are available in the Chichester Observer, copies of which will be available at the below locations. Your entries can also be returned at these locations:
- County Hall, Chichester
- County Council offices, Durban Road, Bognor Regis
- Chichester Library
- Selsey Library
- Bognor Regis Library
- The Witterings Library
- Willowhale Library, Bognor Regis
- Petworth Library
- Midhurst Library
- Southbourne Library