WORK with us on the A27. That’s the strong voice to the government from the county and district councils after two landmark meetings.
Last week, West Sussex County Council followed in Chichester District Council’s footsteps and agreed that the best way forward to resolve the ongoing congestion on the A27 is to bid for funding from the next Road Investment Strategy programme, which will run between 2020 and 2025.
Supported by Gillian Keegan MP, the councils have come together with local communities to shape the future plans for the A27 in Chichester.
As a result they will call upon Highways England to find the right scheme for the area and pursue future investment in the road rather than take any of the current options proposed.
A series of community workshops, called ‘Build a Better A27’, have been held by West Sussex County Council with the district council to find a way forward on the road scheme following its cancellation earlier this year.
Bob Lanzer, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “This has been a difficult process for everyone in the community.
“People are divided on what is best for the area and I have listened to the views of the community whilst weighing up what is best for Chichester and the surrounding area.
“Having listened very carefully over the past few months to all the views on this important issue I cannot see how we could pursue any of the current Highways England options which are on the table.”
Louise Goldsmith, leader of the council, added: “Nobody can underestimate how much thought has gone into making this decision.
“We have known for some time that Highways England’s proposals did not meet the needs of our communities.
“Our question this week was – is that cost too much for Chichester to bear? The overwhelming answer was yes.
“We have drawn from the voices of our community who have been constant in their views and in their support to work with us to get the best solution. Work now has to start on where we go from here.”
Meanwhile campaign group Chichester Moves On has welcomed the decision.
Jenny Cole said: “Now is the time to think well about multimodal transport, to make the bus station and the train station into one hub, to have through ticketing for journeys, to make public transport affordable, and to encourage people out of their cars.
“Cars should be left at the edge of Chichester in accessible park and ride schemes and visitors to the town encouraged to take a low energy tram into our city.
“Let’s make this city accessible to all by democratising our public transport system and making space for our cyclists and walkers.”