LETTER: Tunnel cost or just gridlock

In today’s ‘Chichester Observer’ there were again conflicting letters on the A27 bypass mess.

For me the problem is quite simple. Mr Grayling wants the Chichester bypass to solve irreconcilable challenges – link Chichester to the area to the south and serve LOCAL needs: form part of what was going to be the Folkestone-Honiton trunk road to serve NATIONAL needs.

It can’t be done. Competing demands require separating the different types of traffic. ‘Local traffic could be served by the existing bypass. ‘Through traffic’ cannot choose north OR south of Chichester. Why not? The impact of the sea on local topography rules out a Southern Route.

The problems with the Northern Route centre on Goodwood and the South Downs. I would suggest a tunnel carrying ‘through traffic’ – although needs for a ‘gentle’ ascent /descent for travellers may determine how much of the route could be fully covered. Not feasible? Forty years ago local protests transformed plans for an elevated A27 north of Fishbourne to a ‘sunken’ road which is far less intrusive.

Of course, there’s the cost: but then there’s also the alternative, gridlock.