MP: Cancellation of Chichester A27 upgrade is "massive own goal for West Sussex"
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has expressed his dismay that the Chichester Improvement Scheme has been cancelled, describing it as a massive own goal for West Sussex.
Yesterday (Tuesday 28 February) the Transport Secretary wrote to the Chief Executive of Highways England to say that he was cancelling the Chichester improvement scheme "after the withdrawal of support by the local councils for the shortlisted options and significant local campaigns".
In January Nick Herbert warned that opponents of the southern bypass upgrade who were lobbying for an unfeasible northern bypass risked losing A27 improvements altogether.
The Transport Secretary also said that "the delivery of the A27 Arundel Bypass should proceed as planned". Highways England have restored the start date to "by the end of March 2020" after it had slipped to 2021 at one point, with the bypass opening in 2022.
He added that Highways England had “quite rightly” been taking forward a scheme to upgrade the existing route south of Chichester.
Nick Herbert said: "I am dismayed by this announcement, although reassured that the Arundel Bypass will proceed as planned.
"Those who campaigned against the improvements to the A27 southern Chichester bypass have inflicted a massive own-goal on West Sussex. By lobbying for an unfeasible northern bypass, and undermining the process, they have effectively lost £200 million of infrastructure investment in the area, while road users will continue to face appalling congestion around Chichester.
“I warned that this would happen if the opposition continued and I am very sorry that it has. I will do my best to support my colleague Andrew Tyrie in lobbying for the Government to restore the scheme in future, but I’m afraid that we have learned the hard way that negative political manoeuvring has a serious cost”.
1. Letter from the Transport Secretary of 28 February 2017 cancelling the A27 Chichester Improvement Scheme: here
2. To read Nick Herbert's news release of 24 January 2017 (MP: "Unfeasible" northern Chichester bypass puts A27 upgrade at risk) see here .
3. To read Nick Herbert's news release of 13 February (MP confirms Arundel bypass plans remain on track) see here.
4. Highways England's information on the Arundel bypass: http://roads.highways.gov.uk/projects/a27-arundel-improvement/.