WSCC’s transport consultants for BABA27, French-owned SYSTRA, have publicly admitted that they have done no work on the benefit-to-cost ratio of any of their proposed schemes and, more importantly, no specific analysis on the impact on the retail and services economy of the city of Chichester and its surrounding areas.
The latest report on the health of Britain’s High Streets, covered on April 16th by the BBC Today Programme, was chilling with footfall down by nine per cent.
High Streets are certainly in big trouble from e-retailers and, perhaps worse, increasingly dependent on discretionary purchasing power rather than core needs.
Chichester’s economy is very fragile, with much of it dependent on discretionary purchasing. This can go away as easily as it comes.
Nowhere in the UK is there evidence that a new bypass of an existing one brings economic gain to the local economy. Quite the opposite. It predictably accelerates its decline.
If Louise Goldsmith and her bypass-centric allies want to bury Chichester’s economy in a tomb of concrete, via a new bypass south or north of the city, then they should be very careful what they wish for. Ideally, the madness should stop now before more public money is squandered.
Gavin Barrett, Summersdale, Chichester