AN IMPORTANT meeting due to be held about the future of the A27 has been cancelled – just days before it was due to take place.
On Tuesday, prior to news of the cancellation, a district councillor had questioned the leader about the meeting.
At Chichester’s full council meeting, Cllr Richard Plowman had asked leader Tony Dignum: “I understand that there is a meeting coming up quite soon. Could you tell us who is going to be at that meeting, what the agenda is and what the likely outcomes to that are likely to be?
“Will you also confirm that if there is an alternative route which doesn’t go near the national park or in it, then that this is the preferred route?”
Cllr Dignum responded, saying: “The meeting on March 11 will have the leader of the county council (Louise Goldmsith), the leader of the district council and the chief executives, meeting with the roads minister, Mr Jesse Norman.
“I am not sure whether Highways England will be there but I would be surprised if they weren’t.
“I don’t know really what is on the agenda, with the exception of pushing to get some sort of improvements to the strategic routes around Chichester committed to by the government.
“The impression which as gained by our last meeting is that basically there is no scope in Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS 2 – 2020-2025) and no commitment actually they are doing anything in RIS 3 – 2025-2030.
“What we have been trying to do is at least get commitment to a design study taking place in the 2020-2025 timeframe so something can begin in RIS3.
“On the particular point about national parks, it’s not a Highways England policy, it’s statutory – no highway can go through a national park if there is a viable, alternative route.”
No reason has been given for the cancellation of the meeting.