Parish council quartet in A27 improvements call

A congested A27 coming into Chichester from the west
A congested A27 coming into Chichester from the west

‘THE A27 must only be improved along the current route’ – that is the call from four parish councils after a key meeting today.

Westhampnett, Lavant, Boxgrove and Fishbourne parish councils will write to interested parties to emphasise their stance, amid serious concerns over the potential for a northern bypass around the city.

Highways England is set to consult on a range of options in Spring – but no official details have been released.

This newspaper has joined Spirit FM in calling for clarity on the issue.

Speaking after the meeting, Lavant parish councillor James Pickford said: “The existing policies, as declared by Chichester District Council, West Sussex County Council and the Department for Transport all support work to the existing six juntions on the A27.

“We believe that this policy should be reinforced and put into commission.”

The meeting was also attended by representatives from Funtington Parish Council, but chairman Geoffrey Keech abstained in the vote, as he said councillors wished to see full details of the options before deciding their stance.

The remaining four parish council chairmen expressed concerns over the potential of a northern bypass.

Lavant Parish Council chairman Ian Hutton said: “Lavant Parish Council in early December unanimously voted that it would oppose any proposals of a northern bypass of Chichester and since then we have been attending quite a few meetings and James Pickford has been doing quite a bit of work researching the background.”

The meeting followed a packed South Chichester County Local Committee debate on Tuesday.

Campaigners voiced their anger over the continued secrecy of the options proposed.

Representatives of campaign group Chichester Deserves Better were also present at both meetings.

Click here for coverage of Tuesday’s proceedings.

See more on the joint campaign here.