Fears have been voiced that traffic congestion will become even worse in Midhurst and Petworth after the government’s decision to cancel the Chichester by-pass scheme.
Steve Morley, Midhurst’s district councillor said: “This could have serious consequences for congestion north of the Downs. The A272 corridor should not be considered the new ‘northern option’.”
CDC leader Tony Dignum has highlighted the ‘appalling congestion’ that will now only worsen on the A27 and alternative routes and Cllr Morley is calling on him to include congestion along the A272 corridor in his calls for a rethink.
“Up to now there has been hardly a mention of the effect, the loss of this funding could have on us north of the Downs. There is no better example of a bottleneck than at Rumbolds Hill in Midhurst where two main A roads become almost a single lane. If Midhurst were to become part of a rat-run to avoid the A27 then I believe Midhurst residents would soon demand a by-pass.”
The loss of Highways England funding was a tragedy for Chichester, he said but he feared repercussions would also be felt further afield: “I am concerned the A27 will now become a no-go route for hauliers from the north travelling down the A34 and at Winchester they will decide the A272 offers a less hindered and clearer eastern route.”
Traffic would then only have Midhurst and Petworth to negotiate to the A283 and Shoreham, Brighton and the ferry terminals. “In essence these vehicles will be using the A272 as a northern bypass to avoid congestion through Chichester.”
West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith had acknowledged ‘dreadful congestion experienced by motorists every day’, said Cllr Morley: “There is agreement this area has been shafted by the government and I would like an assurance she is not just thinking of the roads in and around the city.”
He is now seeking an assurance all future consultations will embrace the whole district: “I have asked MP Andrew Tyrie that when Chichester’s problems are discussed they include the north of the district.” See pages 10, 14&15
What do you think? Email us at Midhurst@jpress.co.uk.
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