Louise Goldsmith: '˜Dreadful Chichester traffic will now only get worse'

Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council (photo submitted). SUS-150522-082832001Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council (photo submitted). SUS-150522-082832001
Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council (photo submitted). SUS-150522-082832001
The leader of West Sussex County Council has expressed her disappointment at Chichester's A27 scheme being dropped.

Louise Goldsmith said: “We are naturally deeply disappointed with the Secretary of State’s announcement but we are doing all we can to persuade him to reconsider his decision given the evident need of investment for the infrastructure of our county.

“The cancellation means that the dreadful congestion experienced by motorists everyday on this road will now only get worse.

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“This is not only felt especially at peak times, but also on the alternative routes used locally by motorists avoiding the A27.

“The decision from Chris Grayling now means we at last know that there will not be a re-run of the consultation nor a northern route.”

Read the full story on Mr Grayling dropping the Chichester project here

The County Council has long campaigned for improvements to the A27 at Chichester and has committed £10m towards the scheme, with Chichester District Council committing £12m.

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Mrs Goldsmith added: “These funds have been committed to the improvements for some time and they remain so. There should be no doubt over that.

“In last year’s consultation none of the online options were supported by the county council as providing a sustainable solution to the particular issues on and around the Chichester bypass, we have been working with Highways England to help them understand these local concerns.

“However we have said we would work with Highways England and the Department for Transport on their preferred option – whatever that might be – provided it meets the strategic objectives which were originally set out for the benefit of the residents of West Sussex.

“Whilst the results of the consultation have still not been made public many people expressed their concerns to both local authorities about the proposals in the consultation.

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“We know many people will be very unhappy with the Secretary of State’s decision and we would urge everyone to come together and work towards finding a solution that will meet with the approval of our community as we believe this would help to provide the Secretary of State with the reassurance he needs.

“We are fully committed to working with our communities and Chichester District Council to help find a solution for Chichester.

“We would welcome a meeting with the Secretary of State to discuss the matter further.”

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