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‘Pathetic’ A27 bypass study stuck in 20th century

21 May 2018

Campaign for Better Transport has branded a study commissioned by West Sussex County Council, which suggests two controversial options for improvements to the A27 at Chichester, as ‘pathetic’.

Chris Todd, from Campaign for Better Transport, said: “This study is just a 20th century approach to road building with a green twist. Neither of the two options suggested will be acceptable to local communities and could both cause great harm. It’s a missed opportunity to have looked at the traffic problems around Chichester afresh. It's approached the problem from completely the wrong direction, which is why it has ended up with such a pathetic set of recommendations

“A 21st century approach would be to look at what people need first and and then work out how best to provide that need sustainably. That way would prioritise active travel, such as walking and cycling, hung off a spine of rail and bus networks. Politicians need to stop running away from sustainable transport solutions and start putting people first.  Until that happens Chichester is going to continue to suffer high levels of congestion.”

Campaign for Better Transport argues that a northern bypass is completely unacceptable because of its impact on the National Park and is sceptical that the suggested ‘mitigating features’ would get included in any final scheme because of cost. Upgrading the existing A27 south of the city is equally problematic and unpopular locally, which means without an alternative option the scheme is likely to hit stalemate.

Instead the charity suggests an approach which aims to reduce traffic levels first, then assesses what road improvements are needed after all other options have been thoroughly explored. Because Chichester sits on a coastal plain, high levels of local trips could be taken by bike with the right infrastructure. Better rail and buses would also reduce demand for road space for cars, combined with demand management such as planning restrictions and car parking controls. Once these measures have been implemented to reduce the current levels of traffic only more modest, and cheaper, road improvements would be needed.


For further information please contact the press office on 07984 773 468 or communications@bettertransport.org.uk


Notes to Editors

  1. Build a Better A27 Scheme was produced by transport consultants Systra. It was commissioned by West Sussex County Council after the Department for Transport cancelled the scheme last year when local communities couldn’t agree on the best way forward.
  2. You can read about Highways England’s proposal for the A27 Chichester bypass on its website.
  3. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).