LETTER: A27: Option would inflict damage
'˜Chichester Deserves Better'. A pure and lofty sentiment with which few people would disagree, until noting that they, as a pressure group are campaigning for '˜option 2' for the A27, effectively wishing hell and misery on everyone living in the south of the city.
Have they not stopped to think of the major disruption that the ‘no right turns’ proposal will have? Of the development of new ‘rat runs’ through minor feeder roads within the city and villages to the south in order to access the A27 where right turns are still possible?
Of the motorists who will cross the A27 and execute an immediate ‘U’ turn in residential roads so that they can re-join the A27 by turning left? The ripple effect from this preposterous proposal will blight the lives of people living anywhere near these limited access junctions.
Major construction of overpasses at Whyke and Stockbridge would require the loss of houses and businesses in the vicinity of both crossings, and be aesthetically intrusive. Traffic entering the city would be able to do so at increased speed; there is an existing problem with vehicles exceeding the speed limit at these two entry points as it is, and the removal of obstacles would only worsen the situation.
Chichester no longer has a ‘bypass’, there is residential development on both sides of the A27, with more on the south side in the pipeline. What was once designed to be a bypass is rapidly becoming a high speed urban through-route. Do we really want traffic roaring through the southern suburbs of our city at 70mph? It is interesting to note all other towns in West Sussex through which the A27 passes have 40mph speed limits; why not Chichester?
Motorists need to realise that their minutes of inconvenience should not take precedence over the major damage that option 2 proposals would inflict on the lives of people living in the vicinity of the A27.
Our Government needs to wake up to the fact that building more road capacity will only generate more traffic. If someone living in Arundel should be offered a better job in Portsmouth, and could rely on doing the journey in half an hour, they might well consider this to be an acceptable commute! What is more likely to get people out of their cars and to consider alternatives is to do nothing and stick with ‘the devil we know’.
The only workable solution is to invest in an integrated transport system with ‘people movement’ at its heart rather than ‘traffic movement’. Unless this happens, our quality of life will continue to be compromised by ‘sticking plaster’ solutions to what is rapidly becoming a national crisis.
We should be doing all in our power to halt this ‘traffic first’ and ‘people second’ madness!