‘Dangerous’ A27 prompts Observer campaign

The Observer is today relaunching its Time to Fill campaign to fix the A27 between Chichester and Havant
The Observer is today relaunching its Time to Fill campaign to fix the A27 between Chichester and Havant

Urgent action is again needed to fix our crumbling A27.

That is why the Observer is today relaunching its Time To Fill campaign – demanding immediate repairs for the pothole-littered highway.

The terrible condition of the A27 in 2015 - we don't want it to get that bad again

The terrible condition of the A27 in 2015 - we don't want it to get that bad again

Huge holes are getting worse on the stretch between Chichester and Havant, causing drivers to swerve dangerously to avoid them.

The Observer first ran the Time To Fill drive in 2015, and, eventually, Highways England resurfaced the road.

Cracks in the surface quickly reappeared and for months the condition of the A27 has continued to worsen.

The campaign already has the backing of West Sussex County Council Leader Louise Goldsmith, Chichester District Council leader Tony Dignum, and Chichester Mayor Peter Evans.

Cllr Goldsmith said: “It is really disappointing to see potholes on this section of the A27 occurring again, although the condition of the road is not as bad as a couple of years ago, these potholes need to be repaired soon.

“So I am delighted to be supporting the Chichester Observer’s campaign and rest assured West Sussex County Council Highways will also be raising this issue Highways England.”

Last week, the Observer brought the many concerns to Highways England and asked if a date was scheduled for repairs.

A spokesman would only say: “I can confirm that the resurfacing for this stretch of the road sits within our five year programme (running to 2020) and the stretch is inspected every seven days by the safety inspectors.”

The Observer believes potentially waiting three years for the repairs isn’t accpetable.

The road is not yet as bad as it was 19 months ago, but we can’t let it get to that state, which is why the time for Highways to act is now.

The aim of our relaunched campaign is simple:

We are calling on Highways to immediately commit to a proper repair of the entire stretch – we won’t accept another patch up job which will only deteriorate again within a matter of months.

When Chichester’s £250m improvement scheme was cancelled in March, Highways pledged: “We will continue to work with partners to monitor the route’s performance and to carry out any short term measures we can to help road users, the community and the region.”

Now we want to see that promise materialise.

CDC leader Tony Dignum said: “I strongly support the Observer’s campaign to persuade Highways England to repair the surface damage to the A27 around Chichester.

“Potholes are dangerous and can cause costly tyre damage, which impacts on our residents, businesses and visitors.

“At the same time, Highways England should restore the quieter blacktop surface, created some years ago through our former MP Andrew Tyrie’s pressure.

“This quiet surface has been worn thin or worse by years of heavy traffic. The A27 is one of the most important roads in this area and so it is important that it is in a fit state to deal with the millions of cars that use it each year.”

Scores of people have told us they witness drivers swerving suddenly to avoid the potholes, creating huge safety fears.

As well as the support from senior figures, we are calling on readers to back our campaign, by writing to us with your experiences of the road.

You can email us at letter@chichester.co.uk

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