LETTERS: The A27: A disgusting state of affairs

Isn’t it great to see common sense prevail over the abolition of a ‘northern’ by-pass? Unfortunately that’s as far as common sense seems to go.

Just as we think, at last we can see an end to the misery of miles of stationary traffic, when Highways England (they’ll call themselves something else next month) comes up with a number of different ill-conceived, half baked options, one of which is to install traffic lights on two junctions on the most important and busiest stretch of a major East-West south coast arterial road.

Now, I’m no road expert, but to me it is blatantly obvious, and also to my four year old grandson, to up-grade a road to include not one but two sets of traffic lights on a major trunk road is a retrospective step. As soon as the lights fail or there is an accident we’re all back to square one.

Who ever thought traffic lights at Whyke and Stockbridge junction to be a good idea needs to look for a new job, maybe driving for a living.

Today’s road designers, especially here in the south, are unable to tackle the problem head-on. There is always a political compromise.

There are two main criteria to building a new road around Chichester, or any other by-pass for that matter, 1: to separate through traffic from local traffic and 2: to build a road fit for purpose, ie, for the next 50 years. A road built today for tomorrow, not yesterday!

For a start, there should only be ONE option. Instead of a four-lane road with traffic lights to slow traffic down there should be a six-lane road with a fly-over or under-pass at every junction to speed traffic up. No ifs, no buts.

Build a road for the future, not for my grandson in 2066 to find himself in the same position we are all in today.The Arundel by-pass being a perfect example.

If anybody brings up the argument it will cost too much, think again.

We pay 64 per cent tax on fuel, then there’s a road fund licence, a driving licence, a 9.5 per cent vehicle insurance premium tax, 20 per cent VAT on car accessories and repair bills, not to mention other stealth taxes such as fines and parking charges. The list goes on.

So there is enough money to build a ‘state of the art’ Chichester by-pass, whatever the cost.

So let’s build a safe road for the future.

The decision we make over the next few months should be the right one.

It will not only, in the long term, be more cost effective, but right for the next generation.

If and when decisions are made, a new section of road should be constructed between Westhampnett, through the proposed Shopwyke housing development to join up with the new proposed Bognor junction, bypassing the Portfield roundabout and the existing Oving traffic lights. The Tangmere B2144 road would be accessed via the Bognor junction.

For those who sit in their ivory towers in London and don’t have to put up with the daily misery we experience along the A27, should have the guts to stand up and commit to all A27 improvements.

How many more meetings, discussions, impact studies, environmental statements and hollow rhetoric from government do we need? It’s a disgusting state of affairs. It’s obvious that a new A27 between Shoreham and West Chichester should have been built long ago and those decision makers should be ashamed.

Can anybody remember Cllr Tex Pemberton in WSC January 2008 article reporting he was going to get the go-ahead from Tom Harris at the Department of Transport for a £137 million up-grade to combat the “Chichester traffic choked A27” and for the work to start 2013/14. Really!

Finally, today there is a lovely coloured brochure to admire illustrating various options, where an actual plan has yet to be agreed.

Does anybody remember a similar brochure and the merry dance we endured when we were led up the garden path over the Worthing bypass in 1992.

Twenty four years later the traffic still crawls along a gridlocked road, only slower, designed for a horse and cart.

So don’t be surprised when a watered-down plan

is announced, if at all.

It’s not over till the fat lady sings!

John Boxall

Holt Lane

Clapham