A campaign was then quickly mobilised by an interest group that any route other than a northern bypass was acceptable. They were supported by our MP Andrew Tyrie, the Goodwood Estate, our local radio station and other enlisted celebrities.
Best4Chichester believed this to be fundamentally unfair, and started to campaign for full consideration of all the options.
We were informed that consultation would begin following the release of the documents by Highways England, expected on about 12 March. Several venues had been booked across the City by their consultants for public consultation.
Even in advance of this, barely one month before the start of the consultation, Highways England sent a 900 page copy of their Environment Assessment of all the options to the Harbour Conservancy Board for comment. Before they had a chance to respond, it was announced by Andrew Jones, Under Secretary of State for Transport, that the Northern options had been dropped and that improvements would only take place along the existing A27.
He chose to announce this crucial decision, not to our MP, but in a letter to the MP for Arun and the South Downs. In it he particularly refers to the dropping of the northern options which might have an impact on the Goodwood Estate. No mention of any other local business, or any possible national or regional benefits of any of the then-existing options.