More than 180 people attended a ‘highly charged’ meeting where strong objections were voiced against proposed plans for Chichester’s A27.
Organised by Donnington’s Canal Walk Residents’ Association, attendees also included representatives from Chichester City, Stockbridge, Whyke, Apuldram, Birdham, Sidlesham, North Mundham, Almodington, Selsey, Earnley and North Chichester.
Following the presentation there were highly charged discussions bringing forward strong objections to the proposed plans.
A local resident at the event said: “None of the current options will resolve the existing congestion.
“The distance from Fishbourne roundabout to Portfield roundabout on A27 is 3.5 miles, which takes anything from 30 to 45 minutes.
“Saving seconds and spending nearly £300 million on local and through journey times is not a solution and represents very poor value for money.”
Highways England is currently consulting on five different options to upgrade the stretch of the A27, ranging from £47m to £280m.
The audience at the meeting were particularly vocal in their rejection of Highways England’s proposed Option 2, which includes a new Stockbridge Link Road.
Opposition cited multiple ‘disastrous’ effects that the link road would have in terms of pollution, noise and transferred traffic congestion being moved off the A27 onto the Manhood Peninsula roads.
The negative impact on tourism, on which many of the Manhood businesses rely, was of particular concern.
The audience also heard that 20 buildings and homes would have to be demolished, including a listed early 17th century house.
The anticipated journey time improvement for local traffic of just two minutes and ten seconds, after an investment of £280 million and 41 months of misery during construction, was met with particular derision.
There were strong views expressed that the only true solution would be to build a new northern bypass - an option which was being considered before being dropped ahead of the ten-week public consultation period, which runs until September 22.
One man even came to the meeting armed with an original copy of the 1970s Highway’s proposal for a northern bypass.
Donnington resident Jane Rowe said afterwards: “The general mood from people at the meeting last night was one of Highways forcing us to comment on options, none of which will resolve the congestion issue on the A27.
“Not only that, new access restrictions to the A27, habitually used as a local route, will bring more misery for Manhood Peninsula traffic.
“We appreciate the work Highways England has done so far, however Manhood Peninsular residents urge them to think again.”
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