On Monday 7 March this Society issued the following press release:
Back On the Right Road
The announcement by Highways England that they are no longer considering building a new A27 expressway north of Chichester has been welcomed by the official “Friends” group for the South Downs National Park, the South Downs Society.
“The setting of the national park and some splendid views from it would have been badly damaged by a new road running right along its boundary,” says the Society’s chairman, Robert Cheesman. “We know there are major traffic issues on the bypass and we understand the need for improvements but those changes can be made to the existing route, as Highways England and the government have now recognised.”
The Society, and a range of environmental, business and other organisations, have been engaged with Highways England and their transport consultants for over a year, considering congestion, road safety and other issues along the A27 at Arundel, Worthing/Lancing and east of Lewes and how to address them. Options for improving the Chichester bypass will be the new focus when public consultation takes place in the spring or summer.
Says Robert Cheesman, “The problems with the A27 are not just about delays for car drivers but also the impact of traffic on the national park and those visiting it. People should be able to enjoy the park and reach it on foot, bicycle or public transport as well as by car. As possible improvement schemes emerge, the South Downs Society will look at each option on the basis of the likely effects on the national park and how we can all enjoy it.”