Sussex

Chichester A27 improvements 'a sticking plaster'

A27
Image caption Highways England is putting forward a £100m scheme for improvements to the A27

Plans to improve a bottleneck on the A27 in West Sussex have been dismissed as a "sticking plaster" that will not reduce traffic jams in the long term.

Highways England is consulting on five options for the A27 at Chichester, which include new slip roads and improved signalling at junctions.

Spokesman Ken Simmonds said the £100m improvements would "definitely ease the congestion".

But campaign group Best4Chichester said the city needed a proper bypass.

"It's another sticking plaster job," said campaigner Chris Page.

"Originally we were told the budget would be up to £250m which might have allowed some proper improvements to the road system," he said.

"Now we're told it's about £100m so it's another penny-pinching job.

"They are going to have to come back in a couple of years and produce a proper solution to the traffic problems around Chichester.

"A city on a main road which is part of the strategic road network needs a bypass."

Image caption The five options include improving junctions along the A27

Chris Todd from the Campaign for Better Transport said he agreed that throwing money at A27 would not solve the problems of how people travel.

He said the authorities needed to look at increasing the use of buses, trains and encourage more people to walk and cycle.

"Overall in West Sussex, traffic levels have fallen on the major roads since 2000 so should we really be investing in big new roads?

"That swallows so much money and all it ever does is shift the problem from one place to another.

"People aren't necessarily wedded to just using cars."

The consultation runs for 10 weeks until 22 September and includes 14 exhibitions in Chichester and the surrounding area.

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