Relief for charity after plans for new northern route on A27 are dropped

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THE charity that supports South Downs National 
Park has welcomed news that a bypass will not be added to the A27 north of Chichester.

Highways England announced it is officially dropping plans for a new north or southern route but will instead upgrade the existing stretch in West Sussex.

Work will start in 2019 and take around a year.

A spokesman for the The South Downs Society – a charity set up to protect the South Downs – said they are relieved there will be no major route changes.

Chairman Robert Cheesman said: ‘The setting of the national park and some splendid views from it would have been badly damaged by a new road running right along its boundary.

‘We know there are major traffic issues on the bypass and we understand the need for improvements but those changes can be made to the existing route, as Highways England and the government have now recognised.’

The society, and a range of environmental, business and other organisations, have been engaged with Highways England and their transport consultants for over a year considering congestion, road safety and other issues along the A27.

Options for improving the Chichester bypass will be the new focus when public consultation takes place in the spring or summer.

The government has pledged money to upgrade the A27 between Chichester and Worthing, with the Chichester scheme to take place first, as part of a £15bn investment in the country’s major roads.