A Northern Bypass is the Only Sensible Option

So Chichester Deserves Better has decided that Option 2 is the correct solution to improve the traffic flow around Chichester.

What a surprise!

Push the problem as far south as you can and try to avoid any possible discussion of any Northern route.

Below, in italics is their rationale for their recommendation of Option 2. Best4Chichester’s comments on their points are beneath.


‘It is the only option that provides significant journey time improvements for ALL the main local routes around the area and for through traffic.’

The statement that Option 2 provides ‘significant’ improvements in journey times for ALL local traffic is not in the Highways England report. Try telling someone who wishes to travel from Oving to Chichester that the closure of their lights on the A27 will make their journey quicker; or the residents of the Manhood that their already over-congested B roads will not be cloggedby the diverted traffic. Remember, Highways England’s aims include improving ‘journey time reliability on the strategic road network.’ Improving life for local traffic is not one of their aims, in fact the word ‘local’ is not mentioned in any of their aims.

‘It provides significant journey time improvements for traffic coming out of the Manhood peninsula (20% improvement) Whereas options 1 and 3A provide nearly no improvement at all (1-3% improvement) and options 1A and 3 actually make local journey times worse (1-10% increase) click here for Highways England forecasts for the five options’ 

Highways England’s repeated use of improved journey times is completely beside the point: most of us are not looking to shave 2 or 3 minutes off our local trips. Apart from anything else we know we could be delayed by level crossings! What we want is the confidence to know that if we start a local journey that involves the existing A27, we are not going to be faced with solid and stationary traffic, as is the case for much of the time, and has been particularly this summer. None of the Options including 2 will resolve this problem in the long term, and the chaos during the 41 months construction period is unimaginable.

‘It is the only option that properly separates both through (west to east) and local (sorth to south) traffic at Stockbridge and Whyke and so the only option that makes the road a true bypass.’

So CDB finally come the realisation that what is needed is a proper bypass – one that separates local from through traffic. In fact Option 2 only does this partially; their will still be local and through traffic on the existing A27, despite the diversion of some local traffic.

‘It provides a much needed link road, suitable to carry all traffic from the Peninsula to provide unrestricted access to the A27. In this respect it significantly improves the access for the residents, businesses and tourists south of the A27. All other options would involve restricted right turn access on to the A27 at Whyke and Stockbridge.’

Ahh! The link road: The irony and hypocrisy of the campaign that was so vociferous in resisting a northern bypass through virgin fields now advocating exactly the same to the south of the City will not be lost on many. This link road does go some way to removing some local traffic from the main strategic route along the A27, but at the cost of making it use the already severely congested minor B roads of the Manhood peninsula, in particular the B2145 and the B2166. There will be inevitable increased delays from those driving both from the Wittering, Bird ham, Selsey, Pagham and Bognor. For most of the lengths of these minor roads which will become so much busier, there is no footpath, no cycleway, and in parts two lorries cannot pass in opposite directions without them stopping. This is HE’s way of providing a bypass that is not a proper bypass at all by diverting some traffic and inflicting damage of the people of the Manhood peninsula.

‘It has the best benefit to cost ratio (apart from Option 3 which increases local journey times so should be ruled out) and in that respect represents the best value for tax payers money’

Highways England’s own documents show that the cost benefit ration for both of the discarded northern by pass options equal or exceed that of option2, and the long term benefits of a proper bypass are much better. Also the Benefit to cost ratio for Option 2 does not include the possible future need to upgrade the link road in the south to dual carriageway, probably in 2023, only 12 years after the completion of option 2

‘It provides a net improvement on noise impact’

Greater noise reductions are available through a northern route. If CDB reads carefully the HE statement, it merely states that the reduction will be due to implementation of noise mitigation measures, such as screening and quiet surfacing. THEY COULD DO THAT NOW. Most of us are sceptical that raising traffic on the roads by 10 metres with eyesore flyovers is likely to be quieter than the existing arrangements.

‘It is the only option where it is not stated that it will cause a deterioration on the Stockbridge Air Quality Management area and so in this respect appears to represent the best air quality option.’

A northern bypass would render greater pollution benefits. Speaking to the HE representatives at the local consultations indicates that any improvement on air quality is likely to result from the fact that the traffic is moving more freely. They appear not to have modelled how much worse it is likely to be with the increased traffic flow if hold-ups occur

Whilst the duration of works for Option 2 is long (41 months) this is the same as option 1 which provides significantly less benefits and so has to be favoured out of the two longest construction time options.

The construction time of Option 2 will be a disaster for those who use the A27. Highways England are far too dismissive if the Mayhem that will result as a consequence of three and a half years or more of major works. Those of us who use the road regularly know that even a minor incident results almost immediately in long queues or gridlock, even out of peak time. Incidentally, the construction of a northern bypass is estimated at 24 months, and allows for the use of the existing A27 throughout.

The Stockbridge Link Road could either be constructed first to allow a route for traffic during the construction of the new junctions (this could not only reduce congestion during the works but also mean they can be carried out without the road being “live”) or phased for a later date which potentially could reduce build costs / time.’

Pure speculation with no grounding in the HE consultation documents.

We recognise there are possible negative impacts of any new road scheme and we would encourage Highways England to consider these and how they can be mitigated to minimise the negative impact.

Option 2 involves construction of a new road through open fields to the south of the A27 and with the largest number of houses will be lost to construction.

All the existing options but especially Option 2 are opposed by the Chichester Harbour Conservancy Board.

There is a visual impact due to raised structures which should be minimised through elegant design and better integration into the landscape.

The people of Chichester have not been made fully aware of exactly what the effect of the building of the enormous flyovers will have on the area, particularly views of the Cathedral.

There is potential for some visual impact on the AONB and conservation areas.

There will be an impact on wildlife habitats and this should be mitigated with suitable planting and other mitigation measures.

Chichester Deserves Better seems to have come reluctantly to the realisation that the only proper solution to our traffic problem is a bypass – so long as it does not go anywhere near them. Highways England have stated that NO OPTION in their survey is a perfectly proper and reasonable choice. We citizens of Chichester are quite within our rights to say that NONE of the ‘take it or leave it’ options will work in the short or long term.

They had also said that, if we do not like any Option we should state which solution we DO support.

There is only one answer to the long term traffic problems of our City: that we, as most places of our size on the Strategic Road Network, need a proper bypass that separates through and local traffic.


Costs and benefits of presented A27 improvement options

The Chichester bypass scheme has seven aims. This table compares each of the schemes using material supplied by the Highways England in its various reports

Aims Option 1 south 1A south 2 south 3 south 3A south 4 north 5 north Best score 2nd best score
Aim 1 Improve capacity and support the growth of the regional economy
Improved time travel benefits £M 383.0 297.3 575.9 194.7 359.0 610.7 588.3 Option 4 Option 5
Construction cost @ 2014 prices 182.0 139.0 280.0 47.0 172.0 333.2 307.0
Present Value Costs including capital and operating costs £m at 2010 prices 137.2 112.2 207.3 44.7 132.8 258.8 240.4 Option 3 Option 1A
Present Value Benefits including accident reduction, indirect tax revenues, noise reduction, air quality and greenhouse gases £m at 2010 prices 349.4 279.1 551.3 184.9 308.0 692.9 687..0 Option 5 Option 4
Ratio of Benefits to Costs. Above 2 =Good 2.6 2.5 2.7 4.1 2.3 2.7 2.9 Option 3 Option 5
Aim 2 Improve road safety Benefits or Costs £m -8.5 1.9 8.4 5.8 -24.1 61.4 73.6 Option 5 Option 4
Aim 3 Reduce environmental impacts (air quality and noise) £m 2.9 0.6 2.2 2.8 1.0 3.2 3.9 Option 5 Option 4
Cultural Heritage Impact assesment adverse effects  MAJOR ADVERSE
Chichester Conservation Area Significant Significant Significant Significant
Fishbourne Concervation Area Significant Significant Significant
Lavant ConservationArea Moderate Moderate
Chichester Dyke Historical site Moderate Significant
Chichester Harbour AONB Significant Significant Significant
Aim 4 Improve the time reliability on strategic road network A27 through flow savings in minutes 1.4 3.0 5.7 3.0 4.1 8.0 10.0 Option 5 Option 4
Savings on local traffic 1.3 1.2 2.2 0.3 1.3 not given not given
Note there has been no measurement of the detriment to the local network as traffic rat runs develop to avoid the no right turn junctions.
Aims Option 1 south 1A south 2 south 3 south 3A south 4 north 5 north Best score 2nd best score
Aim 5 Facilitate timely delivery build time in months 41 23 41 15 27 24 24 Option 3 Optopn 1A
Cost of traffic delays during consruction £m 14.7 13.7 25.0 11.6 12.9. 0.9 0.8 Option 5 Option 4
Aim 6 Improve regional connectivity Aim 7 Improve acces sto areas with tourist activity Only options 4 and 5 offer a northern link so traffic wishing to go north to Petersfield/Midhurst does not have to travel through Chichester. Separation of local events/tourist traffic and through east/west. The Manhood Penninsula is an area which has the majority of the tourism based accommodation and yet Options 1-3a do not demonstate an improvement to this by significant measure. On the other hand the northern route removes 42% of the traffic allowing free flow on the A27 as it returns to design capacity levels of 23,000 vehicles per day compared with the current 48,000 per day. Option 4 Option 5
Buildings demolished. 5.0 5.0 20.0 0.0 2.0 5.0 8.0 Option 3 Option 3a
The traffic flows along the B2166 have not been identified but there is a note in the Highways England (HE) report which suggests that the single carriage way to Fishbourne may reach its peak capacity around 2035 when dual carriage ways may be needed. What does this imply for traffic that is flowing east/west along the B2166 to and from Bognor regis.
The traffic modellers have implied in meetings that they were not aware of the housing developments in Chichester (5000) or Bognor (5000) between now and 2030. They were not aware of the Free School moving to the Convent which will increase the traffic at Whyke roundabout and on some options push school traffic through North Mundham and Runcton
An area of concern for Runcton and Mundham is how much traffic is going to use the Vinnetrow Road as a short cut to get ahead of traffic on the Bognor Road and to avoid the problem of no right turn at the Whyke roundabout.
If you go to the consultation do ask about the traffic flows through Runcton and North Mundham. Ask what they see as the noise and air pollution problems.
MARRA asks you to ensure that you do fill in a consultation form. If you agree with MARRA that a northern bypass would be the best solution please tick the ‘No option’ box and put your reasons in the text box below.

A27 Chichester Bypass-Public Consultation starts 14th July and ends 22nd September

Your views are important

The delayed A27 Chichester Bypass Public Consultation has finally been announced. The options presented have major consequences not only for the current 48,000 daily users of the bypass, but in particular for the similar numbers of residents across our wider area. You are urged to participate in determining the future of the bypass.

With the aim of bringing transparency, eight of the eleven parishes south of the A27 with some 30,000 residents either wrote directly to the Secretary of State, or encouraged their residents to do so, with a plea to allow everyone the opportunity to give their views on all the seven options as publicised earlier by the Chichester Observer. This was ignored without proper replies, and the two northern options have been dropped. We are thus presented with five southern options only.

Read more

Scandal Over the Sudden Dropping of the Northern Options – Virtual Abandonment of the Consultation Process

Best4Chichester has been waiting to gauge reaction to the news that both northern options and two of the southern options, were suddenly dropped by the Under Secretary of State, as reported in the Observer on 4 March. At a stroke, thousands were denied participation in a proper consultation process to improve the traffic around our city. Instead we are faced with a take it or leave it situation which will only consider improvements to the existing road.

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Council Leader drops A27 consultation bombshell

Councillors and members of the public at the Chichester District Council meeting on Tuesday 26 January were told that there will only be one consultation site for the whole of the Manhood Peninsula.  That was to be at North Mundham.

Chris Page of the Best 4 Chichester campaign said it was ‘a smack in the face’ for all those who live south of Chichester and bear the brunt of the traffic delays on the A27.  Members of the Best 4 Chichester group had gone with Parish Council representatives from North Mundham, Oving and Sidlesham to question the Council about the decision-making process. Tony Dignum, Leader of the Council, assured them that there would be a vote of the entire Council when the details of the A27 upgrade were debated.  Best 4 Chichester wanted to know that the views of every ward were going to be heard.

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