Your reaction to the news that the offer of funding has been withdrawn for all the recent A27 improvement options suggests a city plunged into gloom – in fact I can assure you that thousands of us living in southern Chichester and south of the city are dancing in the streets in jubilation.
It has been a central fallacy of the debate that any money spent on the A27 would have been better than none.
In fact all of the recent options would have restricted access to the south of the city and turned residential streets into rat-runs making life for Chichester residents a misery – and that’s without the impact on the communities in the Manhood peninsular.
We have dodged a bullet and escaped the consequences of a scheme that was badly conceived from day one.
Oh, and I suspect Chris Grayling’s decision had less to do with local in-fighting than with recent Government hints that it intends to cut back on road improvement schemes nationwide to cut costs – scheme abandoned, millions saved, blame shifted to the locals, job done.
Yes, of course we still have to live with the appalling congestion on the A27 (still better than every single one of the recent options).
But the fact is that will only get worse and it will have to be revisited in years to come, and not in the long term, either.
When it does I sincerely hope that there will be a proper impact assessment on Chichester and the environs, and not merely the tunnel-vision emphasis on east/west traffic flow that we had last time. And all routes will have to be considered–- and if it is decided not to go down the obvious northern route, there had better be a great deal more transparency, and less apparent susceptibility to vested interests, than certainly seems to have been the case this time.