New A27 group is trying to rewrite history
I and many others are becoming increasingly concerned by the tactics being deployed by a new group claiming to represent '˜parish councils and the public' on A27 issues.
The so-called A27 Alliance refuses to disclose which PCs are members and is trying to rewrite history by blaming WSCC for the impasse we’re in.
We need to remember that it was the public that rejected the previous proposals for online solutions put forward in the last two HE consultations.
It was the public who, therefore, turned down the monies being offered by government for junction alterations that local residents and businesses recognised would not solve the problem in the long term.
And it was the public who called for Northern bypass options to be properly considered.
WSCC bravely attempted to find a way forward and reopen the negotiations after Grayling threw his toys out of the programme following the public’s rejection of HE’s online proposals.
Yes, we were told that a bypass solution would cost significantly more than £250 million but the public had already told Mr Grayling that if £250 million would not solve the problem for more than a few years, it would be better spent elsewhere.
During the BABA27 process our MP promised that if the community supported an offline solution she would push for the additional funding that would be required.
By the end of the lengthy process, attended by elected community representatives and businesses from across the district, a way forward was agreed.
Councillors from both Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council voted for a Northern Bypass as their preferred option with a Southern Bypass as a second option.
If either of these options is unaffordable under the existing budget but workable it is up to our MP Gillian Keegan and our councils to push for the additional funding required, particularly as we now know that all the other options that have been suggested in the past are not long term or robust enough solutions and have already been rejected by the public.
This is an issue that is of critical economic importance for the country as well as our district as the A27 links the south’s major towns and ports.
Dr Carolyn Cobbold, Hundredsteddle Lane, Birdham