Most of the options presented by the consultants to improve the A27 appear to be a re hash of the previously discounted ideas that were widely rejected. This is a worrying outcome.
Looking back at what we are trying to achieve, it is a scheme that we can go to Government and bid for funding to improve the road.
If options have already been discounted by Highways England or rejected by the community then what chance do we stand of getting Highways England to support them.
The list includes flyovers, hamburger roundabouts
and traffic lights – all rejected, and a northern and southern bypass, strongly opposed locally and discounted by Highways England, because in the words of their chief executive they ‘stand almost no chance of success’.
One new idea seems to be a bypass which would cut through the Westhampnett strategic housing site, earmarked for 500 homes before connecting at the already overcrowded Portfield roundabout, this is widely considered to be unviable technically as well as posing a significant danger to the local plan, and should be discounted along with the other re hashed routes.
The only new ideas that seem to have any merit are underpasses and smart signage, something Highways England failed to consider previously and both of which the consultants suggest could be as beneficial as the more contentious ideas such as flyovers.
If we are to be successful in getting Highways England to agree to fund improvements, then we need to look at solutions that are technically viable and a fresh approach.
Ben Kirk, Hunters Race, Lavant