Spending between £47m and £280m to improve the A27 around Chichester will provide the solution to long-standing traffic problems, a Highways England official has said.
Speaking at the first of 14 public exhibitions showing off the five different options for upgrading the stretch, Angela Koenig, group leader for major projects in the South East, said she was confident the option taken forward would deliver the badly needed improvements.
“Yes, that’s why we’re bringing them (the options) to these consultations,” she said.
“They all represent possible solutions that will deliver improvements. They meet the objectives so that’s why we’re bringing a range of options forward to find out which is the best one for local people.”
Despite Option 3, the most modest of the options at an estimated cost of £47m, being dismissed by many as not substantial enough, Ms Koenig said it showed a ‘quite positive return on investment’.
She said: “The range that we’ve been given is between £100m - £250m, obviously what we have to do is deliver the best value scheme for the lowest cost.
“So if there’s an affordable solution at the lower end of the range then of course we’ll do that because this is tax payers’ money we’re spending, so we want to deliver the best value.”
She added: “If you look at the benefit cost ratio (of Option 3) it actually shows quite a positive return on investment.
“Obviously we want people to tell us what’s important to them, and some people here today have said they like that option.”
The most substantial of all the five is Option 2, which would cost £280m and include flyovers at Fishbourne, Stockbridge, Whyke and Bognor junctions.
With access closed off to the A27 at both Stockbridge and Whyke, a new ‘Stockbridge link road’ would take all the access traffic from the Manhood Peninsula onto a larger Fishbourne roundabout (see video above for Highways England visualisation).
The link road, Ms Koenig said, would be designed to cope with all that traffic from the south of Chichester.
She said: “That’s why the link road is there, to make sure the access is there to the Manhood Peninsula.
“It stops some of the crossing movements at some of the other points on the bypass, so it sends all the traffic from the Manhood Peninsula onto the Fishbourne Roundabout, but the designs have taken account for the volume of traffic.”
Despite Option 2 being over the top-end £250m budget, she said the £280 figure would likely to be reduced with efficiencies, but added: “Ideally we’re looking for the lowest cost that delivers the solution that we need.”
To see the consultation brochure click here
Do you agree that one of the options will solve the growing traffic problems? Which of the five options do you prefer? Sign in to comment below, or join the debate on our Facebook page.
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