I have followed the progress of the BABA27 meetings with great interest and, along with many others, contributed to the questionnaire in your newspaper.
I think the approach initiated by Louise Goldsmith is to be commended and I had high hopes SYSTRA might just manage to come up with an answer which would solve the A27 problem once and for all. I was, therefore, concerned to find the inclusion of a totally unworkable Southern ‘solution’ as one of their final two recommendations.
I understand they have not been able to do a full investigation into either of the schemes which they have suggested but I really cannot see how they think an underpass on a flood plain would be practicable, or that the other works, such as the ‘likely need’ to move the canal etc., can be dismissed in such a cavalier fashion.
There is also no mention of the construction timing and chaos caused by pursuing this suggestion – just look at what is happening with the replacement of a footbridge.
The fact is every objective observer knows there is only one commercially and environmentally acceptable solution and that is a Northern by-pass. This has been the case for over 80 years. The only question is how the effects of this route can be minimised to make it more acceptable to the residents in that part of the city. To their credit SYSTRA have come up with some suggestions in this regard and I firmly believe this is where future efforts should be directed.
I am sure our MP, Highways England and your paper will come under immense pressure from both Goodwood and the local Conservative party to prevent a Northern route but I really do hope those in authority can look at the situation objectively to ensure the residents of Chichester and the Manhood peninsula finally get the true by-pass which the city so desperately needs.
Melvyn Lowther, Mill Pond Crescent, Chichester