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A27 – Draft Letter to Minister for Transport

Monday, May 09, 2016

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Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP                                                                                               9th May 2016
Secretary of State for Transport
Department for Transport
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
London SW1P 4DR

Email address: patrick.mcloughlin@dft.gsi.gov.uk

A27 Chichester Bypass-Reinstate All Seven Original Options

Dear Secretary of State

As one of the 27000 residents of the Manhood Peninsula it was with great concern that in early March, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Mr Andrew Jones MP informed Rt Hon Nick Herbert, the MP for Arundel and the South Downs, that the planned consultation for the options for improvements to the terrible traffic problems on the A27 around Chichester was postponed, and that the future consultations would involve only four of the originally chosen seven options. Mr Jones mentioned particularly that the two options for a new northern bypass that could, in his words, “impact on the Goodwood Estate” were eliminated. Our own MP, Rt Hon Andrew Tyrie, did not comment on this remark.

Since Mr Jones’ announcement, there has been growing anger and discontent among many of the people in the Chichester area who feel they have been cheated of a chance to see the chaotic traffic situation around our city resolved once and for all. Having initiated a multi-million pound investigation, Highways England which came up with seven options, at a stroke summarily dismissed three of these just a few days before the well-trailed consultation process was to begin. No reasons for this sudden change have been forthcoming, despite enquiries under FOI of Highways England.

In our local newspaper, our MP has now voiced concern that the current options still on the table will not provide a lasting solution for the A27 around Chichester. It is a belief shared by many of his constituents, who well remember the earlier consultation in 2004/5 when similar options were being proposed, and who note with dismay that any of the remaining options will result in permanent disruption and inconvenience to their local journeys. What has been foisted on us is yet another sticking plaster solution, which will inevitably fail.

As this concerns a nationally significant infrastructure project, an orderly and full consultation on all options is required with the findings presented to the National Infrastructure Directorate for independent examination against all relevant policies before it makes its recommendations.

This letter calls for the original consultation process to be reinstated, with all the options back on the table, so that all of the people of Chichester and its environs can express their opinion democratically, in the knowledge of the relative costs and benefits  – locally, regionally and nationally – of all seven original options.

Yours faithfully