LETTER: Time for council to ‘march on last orders’

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THE maxim ‘march on last orders’ is usually the key to success when it comes to large building and engineering projects. To do otherwise encourages political procrastination, the shifting of goal posts and project inertia.

In June, 2015, following months of lobbying, West Sussex County Council welcomed the Government’s announcement to invest £350m to improve the A27.

This announcement – now over six months old – included confirmation of the existing commitment (supported by many validation reports) to upgrade the four junctions on the Chichester bypass.

Surely this constitutes ‘last orders’ as funds are available and the scheme has been approved as a sustainable solution – so why is the work not progressing to construction?

WSCC have not been clear as to when that work will start nor whether unnecessary prevarication may have led to the lapse of planning approvals, and whether WSCC have responded to Highways England to cancel the need for further studies because there is already a committed project to upgrade junctions on the existing route.

Am I alone in wondering whether the perceived lack of action by WSCC for a project that would safeguard the CDC-adopted Local Plan for housing and economic development, that would facilitate the through traffic and that would benefit the whole of Chichester, and particularly the residents and businesses located to the south of the city, is being highjacked by political aspirations as opposed to engineering pragmatism.

Our wellbeing is not only based on economics, the cheapest cost and the dubious economies of scale.

The importance of special areas of tranquil landscape need to be recognised and saved from increasing urbanism.

It is time for WSCC to ‘march on last orders’ and upgrade the junctions on the existing route and to spend public funds that provide the greatest benefit in the most efficient way.

Nick Reynolds

Architect and project manager

Pook Lane,

Lavant