LETTER: A27: Proper new bypass needed
I am a Chichester resident, living close to the A27 and I am writing about the proposed improvements to the A27. I am strongly of the view none of the proposals represent a viable way forward, but a proper, new bypass (ie a northern bypass) is the only real solution.
My reasons for opposing the current proposed options are as follows:
1. Each option is an attempt to do the impossible. The present road system is simply not amenable to the level of improvement needed. Each of the proposed options looks like a desperate attempt to cobble together a solution to an impossible problem.
2. In particular, the most substantial option (Option 2) provides for free flow on the A27 for four out of five of the existing major junctions, but the fifth junction (Portfield) remains a roundabout. Traffic flowing from west to east could move freely through the first four junctions, but would then clog up in a very long queue at Portfield, sometimes stretching right back even to the Whyke and Stockbridge junctions in the rush hour. The proposed change to the Portfield roundabout (changing from two to three lanes) would be utterly inadequate to prevent this.
3. The proposed flyover at the Stockbridge junction (Option 2) is not at all suitable for the residential area which surrounds it closely. The sheer size of the structure would be totally inappropriate within a residential area. And the constant stream of traffic, raised up and passing close to the upstairs windows of local housing, would also be unpleasant in the extreme.
4. The proposed ‘No right turn’ at the Stockbridge junction would cause major inconvenience to the thousands of people living south of this part of the A27, and to the thousands of visitors to West Wittering and other local beaches. The proposed link road (Option 2) would help a few of these people, but not the majority.
5. Estimated savings in time for A27 traffic and local traffic are tiny and cannot justify the massive expense and extended period of disruption during construction. The maximum estimated savings are only five mins 40 secs for A27 and two mins ten secs for local traffic.
6. The estimated time savings for local traffic are averaged over the whole area. In fact, for people living south of this part of the A27, journey times are likely to be longer, not shorter, because they would have to find alternative routes on small local roads, which would become clogged up.
7. The very long estimated times for construction, with the attendant very long periods of major disruption, cannot be justified by the small benefits the proposed options would bring.
The only option that would bring significant benefits is a proper, new bypass. Tinkering with the exisiting road system simply would not work.