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Chichester Deserves Better - Update on the A27 Project

Chichester Cathedral

Since it was announced that the northern route was no longer being considered as an option there has been little news on what happens next.

With limited news our newsletters will be less frequent until further information is announced but we will endeavour to update readers with news as we receive it.

However the following is a roundup of the limited news since the northern bypass was dropped.

Highways England advised that at an early options appraisal they had looked at 4 different northern bypass routes. Details were requested on the initial cost estimates for these routes and it was confirmed that the route options were estimated to be between £267.2 million and £323.8 million.

This is perhaps one of the reasons the northern route may have been dropped as it didn’t fit with the available budget. The Highways England project website states clearly that ‘The estimated cost of this scheme is in the range of £120 million and £250 million’

The day following the announcement that the northern route was dropped the minister responsible for the project confirmed that the estimated cost was £122million to £181million

This prompted a response from Chichester MP Andrew Tyrie who claimed that councillors had been given higher figures and that £181million would only fund so called “hamburger junctions” and not flyovers as had been detailed in the draft options that were widely circulated.

Mr Tyrie has written to the minister responsible for the project to try and establish whether this is the case. Chichester Deserves Better are supportive of these efforts to establish the options that will now be formally presented at the delayed public that will take place in the early summer.

Concern were raised over whether the project would now deliver a proper upgrade of the existing junctions with reports in the media picking up on a statement made by Highways England that said

‘Our target remains for construction to start in 2019 and have the road opened by 2020.’

taking this to mean that the works would only last a year, suggesting that a quick job would be done.

We pushed Highways England for clarity on this and they conceded that this statement was incorrect and confirmed to us that

‘Construction is scheduled to start 2019 for an opening date in 2021. We will make sure all future communications reflect this.’

Chichester Deserves Better is now working to push for the best job to be done to the existing road and not a watered down “quick fix”. We will continue our campaign to highlight the local importance of the road and to ensure that the views of Chichester residents and businesses are properly represented and that the final option selection is based on what is best for Chichester.

We will provide further updates as news is released.

TalkAtSix

Talks at six is a local forum that meets on a Thursday evening at the New Park centre in Chichester.

On 14th April the topic for debate will be the improvements to the existing A27

Elaine Drummond will be joining the forum on behalf of Chichester Deserves Better who have been supporting the upgrade and modernisation of Chichester’s southern bypass.

She will review the campaign to date, consider the lessons learnt and challenge what still needs to be done to improve roads and transportation in and around Chichester.

Feel free to come along and join in the discussion.

More details can be found here 

Contact us at chichesterdeserves@mail.com

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