Highways England was tasked with exploring the options for an upgrade to the A27 Chichester bypass.
It came up with seven options – two to the north and five to the south. The northern two were withdrawn before public consultation. No reason has ever been given.
The remaining five were put forward amid much fanfare, but it soon became apparent that not one of them represented any improvement over the existing bypass. In fact, most of them would have resulted in a worse situation than existed before.
This was not only disappointing, but it led to an immense amount of friction between those living in the north and those living in the south. It also led to an emphatic thumbs-down by the people of Chichester. Consequently, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling took the opportunity to withdraw funding. All of this was down to the monumental incompetence of Highways England.
Fast forward to 2018. Improvements to the footbridge over the A27 at the Stockbridge roundabout brought Highways England back into action. The system it put in place for pedestrians to cross the A27 was amateurish and, in some ways, dangerous. Accidents occurred as a direct result of the poor signage. Then, just as we thought the nightmare was over, it discovered there was an ‘unacceptable level of movement in the bridge’.
We can only conclude Highways England is an agency that is not fit for purpose.
Jim Oliver, Graydon Avenue, Chichester