Sceptical response after fresh calls for underpass in Chichester

Observer readers have responded to fresh proposals for an underpass to be built beneath the city’s railway line and and for both level crossings to be removed.

A masterplan for the area, stretching from the law courts to Canal Wharf, was agreed by Chichester District Council back in 2017.

Richard Plowman and Brian Raincock from Gateway Plus team

Richard Plowman and Brian Raincock from Gateway Plus team

On Tuesday and Wednesday, members of the Gateway Plus team stood by the level crossing, talking to and handing out leaflets to passers-by about the benefits of an underpass. Read more here

The idea sparked debate amongst Observer readers.

Commenting on our Facebook page, Andrew Saunders wrote: "It would be staggeringly expensive to do and not affect anything built near it and it will flood. And it could cause even more traffic. I can't see it getting any further than this."

Dave West said: "Having had a brief look at the Chichester Gateway plan, I have to say it is, perhaps, a ‘nice to have’ but our council's money would be better spent in developing initiatives to ensure the existing high streets remain vibrant and shops occupied."

Proposed underpass to replace the Basin Road level crossing (photo submitted).

Proposed underpass to replace the Basin Road level crossing (photo submitted).

Laura Gibbs agreed. She said: "I'd much rather see the money that would be spent on this was invested into the town centre and the local shops.

"I don't see a problem with how it is now with the level crossings."

Hannah Ridley wrote: "Chichester is turning into a ghost town with most shops closing, why waste money on underpasses the crossings have been fine for years if it's not broken don't fix it."

On the other hand, Jonathan Handford wrote: "I don't know what the right solution would be but 'solving' the problem of the level crossings would be wonderful."

John O'Sullivan said it would be 'nice not to have the crossings' but the 'expense and distribution wouldn’t be worth it'.

Nick Ridley wrote: "An underpass would be an engineering nightmare and just as impractical as a bridge. A better solution would be to improve the access from the Fishbourne roundabout via Avenue De Chartres and from the Bognor bridge roundabout."

Paul Hubbard and Hamish Spence expressed their fear that an underpass would flood, whilst Sue Hughes said crossings are safe if people 'keep to the rules'.

What do you think about the proposal for an underpass? Let us know on our Facebook page.