LETTER: Reasons for an A27 upgrade
The letter from Mark Neave (Chichester Observer February 25 '“ Silly Season on the A27) was notable only for its omission of any reference to the impact of funding on the choice of route.
With overall Government funding falling dramatically West Sussex councillors have recently reported on the lack of funds available for highways. Couple this concern with a £150m WSCC budget shortfall and it seems clear that WSCC are not in a position to fund any substantial road improvements.
Therein lies the key implication relating to the choice of route for West Sussex residents.
If the more realistic option to upgrade the junctions on the existing southern trunk route for both through and local traffic was chosen this would be funded by Highways England.
The WSCC highways budget can then be used to fund work on other roads throughout west sussex many of which are in a very poor state of repair.
If, however, a second new trunk road to the north of Chichester for the minority of through traffic was funded by Highways England, WSCC would become responsible for the upgrade of the existing de-trunked route to the south.
Whilst this route would carry the majority of local traffic the major junction upgrades required could not be funded. Traffic chaos would continue.
Interestingly, Mark Neave glowingly referred to the 20 year old Newbury Bypass. There is however no consensus on whether this road ever did relieve congestion on the old route which even now is frequently choked with nose to tail traffic (see 2006 report).
A new road never has been a universal remedy and it is not now for Chichester.