A MITIGATED northern route for the A27 has been chosen as West Sussex County Council’s preferred option.
In a report created by consultants, Systra, there were two options, one southern and one northern.
The county council has considered that the submission to Highways England should include the ‘mitigated northern route’ as the county council’s preferred option, subject to the inclusion of important mitigation measures that are needed to make the scheme acceptable in environmental terms and the ‘full southern route’ as a reasonable alternative to mitigate the community consensus and policy fit risks associated with the ‘mitigated northern route’.
In it’s decision report, the council said: “In July 2016, Highways England published five options for improving the A27 at Chichester for public consultation. However, none of options secured support from a majority of the consultation respondents and on February, 28 2017, the Secretary of State wrote to Highways England cancelling the scheme because of the lack of local consensus about how the A27 at Chichester should be improved.
“In response to the Secretary of State’s announcement, the county Ccouncil convened a community meeting to try to build consensus and develop a way forward through the ‘Build A Better A27’ initiative.
“The BABA27 community group established themes and key requirements to inform a set of ‘success criteria’ for the A27 Chichester scheme. Transport and engineering consultants, Systra, were appointed to provide independent technical advice and support to the community group to promote a scheme for inclusion in the Government’s second Roads Investment Strategy (RIS2 – 2020-25).
“Systra have worked with the BABA27 community group to understand key issues and constraints and identify a long list of possible options. The long list has been sifted down to a short list of five conceptual options: three are assessed to be ‘undeliverable’ or ‘undesirable’ but there are two ‘desirable’ conceptual options that meet, or meet most of, the success criteria identified by the group; a ‘mitigated northern route’ and a ‘full southern route’.
“However, there continues to be a wide range of views among local stakeholders and, at present, no clear majority in favour of any conceptual option.
“There are three potential approaches to promoting a scheme to the Government for inclusion in RIS2, each of which has different advantages and risks. It is considered that Approach C should be taken forward, that is, promoting one of the two desirable options as a preference but also promoting the other one as a ‘reasonable alternative’.”
The cabinet member will write to Highways England requesting that the A27 Chichester scheme is included in the second Roads Investment Strategy (RIS2) stating that the ‘mitigated northern route’ is the county council’s preferred option but that the ‘full southern route’ should also be developed as a reasonable alternative.
Members of the county council’s environment, communities and fire select committee also backed the mitigated northern route as their preferred option.