Residents urged to have their say on suggestions for A27

West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith
West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith

The leader of West Sussex County Council Louise Goldsmith urged everyone to use this unique opportunity with the Chichester Observer Series to have their say on building a better A27.

If you want to have your say and make your views count on the possible options to shape a new A27 around Chichester then you must use the form in this week’s Observer series.

On the centre pages of the Observer tomorrow (March 15), readers will find a form which includes a ‘long list’ of suggestions and ideas that could ease congestion on the A27. People can use the form to indicate which of the ideas they approve and those they object to. You can also find the suggested new routes and suggested improvements to the current route here.

Mrs Goldsmith said: “When we see Highways England we will need to have a solid mandate from the community for the proposals that we will be putting forward.

“A great disservice was done to this area over the whole issue of the A27. Consultations cancelled last minute, funding pulled, no wonder people have been disillusioned.

“But what we do know is that so many people have views and want to be involved. It’s their area. They are going to live with whatever is proposed. People should have a chance to put their views forward.”

She said she hoped that this model of community engagement would serve other areas well in the future.

“During the past year, people have turned out in the hot and the cold and they have stayed with this process; sat in meetings, listened, and worked together. It is a fine example of communities working to get something right for where they live. I am so proud we have been able to facilitate this,” she said.

Now is the turn for the entire district and beyond to have their say on the ‘long list’ to shape the priorities for the short list before we seek their views over the final proposal to Highways England.

The deadline to submit your form is March 29.

How to submit your views

On pages 44 & 45 in tomorrow’s Observer (March 15 edition) is a long list of suggestions and ideas that could ease congestion on the A27.

These have been collated from discussions by the Build a Better A27 group. They range from smaller improvements to the existing route – known as on-line suggestions – to whole new route plans that have not been discussed before.

We need to know what you think of the ideas and whether they are either – something you would be supportive of, something you could be supportive but more work is needed, or something you could not support.

It is important to note that the impact score given to each idea is simply about how well it could improve congestion (0 being no impact to 5 being significant impact).

This is an initial assessment based on available data and is dependent on further work.

The next step is to really examine the ideas for their environmental impact, the financial viability, the impact on landscape or local communities and a whole range of other factors that affect how a road improvement is viewed both by the community but also by Highways England in formulating their views on whether a scheme is viable.

Alongside the suggestions are a range of transport improvements about changing the way people use the road, for example cycling, walking and public transport. SYSTRA, the consultant commissioned by the group, has been clear that this options alone would not be enough to fix the significant traffic congestion on

the road.

However they are vital in making sure any improvements are sustainable and meet the needs of the community and the environment.

We also want your views on those. When you have filled in your views please return your form (by March 29) to the Chichester Observer offices Suite 3 First Floor, City Gates 2-4

Southgate Chichester West Sussex PO19 8DJ or to one of the below locations:

* County Hall, Chichester

* County Council offices, Durban Road, Bognor Regis

* Chichester Library

* Selsey Library

* Bognor Regis Library

* The Witterings Library

* Willowhale Library, Bognor Regis

* Petworth Library

* Midhurst Library

* Southbourne Library