Lack of transparency over plans to widen A27
I am writing to express my increasing concern over the lack of transparency about plans to widen the A27 between Offington Roundabout and Grove Lodge Roundabout.
I spoke recently to Tim Loughton, my MP, who indicated that of the various options being considered by Highways England the preferred option was likely to be “on-line duelling”, which means widening the existing road.
The only access to my house is from Warren Road and yet I have not received any direct information about this matter, which could have a profound impact on those of us who live along this stretch of the A27/A24.
A group comprising MPs, local authorities and some local businesses called A27 Action has been actively promoting dual carriageway expansion along the length of the A27, including the widening of some parts that are already existing dual carriageways.
Louise Goldsmith, the leader of WSCC has recently written to Highways England, expressing grave concerns that only six weeks of public consultation, due to start this spring, had been allocated by Highways England for the Chichester Improvement Scheme.
I understand this has now been increased by just one week despite WSCC requesting that it be doubled to 12 weeks as so many issues need to be considered.
In her letter, Ms Goldsmith also expressed disquiet regarding how much information Highways England has been making available generally.
Mr Loughton was kind enough to send me the minutes of the last meeting of A27 Action and it is clear from these that although no final option for the A27 exists at this time the fact that the term Compulsory Purchase Order appears and that the sum of government money provided for the Worthing/Lancing area may not be sufficient to cover such costs is extremely unsettling.
The A27 Action website contains some video clips in which users of the road and local business owners talk about how the slow pace of traffic affects the quality of their lives and the conduct of their work. I suggest that these legitimate issues pale into insignificance for those of us who choose to live on or off the Warren Road, whose homes may be taken down or blighted.
It may surprise some that I consider our particular stretch of road to be residential in nature and the thought of increasing volumes of traffic is unacceptable. The A27 Action campaign provides a one-sided view and ignores the devastating impact upon home owners’ lives.
I request that the Herald takes a lead in campaigning for much greater trans-parency from Highways England over its plans for our area and that your coverage of this issue is greatly increased.
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