Vital upgrades to A27 ignored by transport department

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RESIDENTS and businesses have reacted angrily to news that vital upgrades to the A27 at Chichester could be delayed by years.

The Department for Transport has decided not to include improvements to the city’s road network as one of a cluster of six projects across the country to be taken forward in 2015.

The scheme, which was set to include enhancements to the Chichester’s main roundabouts in order to improve traffic flow, now has no clear timeline for development.

Chichester MP Andrew Tyrie, who has campaigned for A27 upgrades for the past 15 years, has pledged to continue lobbying the secretary of state for transport on the issue.

He said: ‘I am extremely disappointed the A27 at Chichester has not been considered for improvement in the next spending review period after 2015.

‘As everybody who lives here will know, and particularly everyone in the Manhood, the A27 has a high (traffic) turnover at peak times.

‘I am going to raise this again with MP Justine Greening, the secretary of state for transport, and try to get them to reconsider.’

Louise Fenwick, vice-president of the Chichester Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: ‘We are appalled and astonished by the decision to deprioritise this major trunk road, which is a vital route connecting the major towns along the south coast.

‘This decision not only affects Chichester, but all those in economic hubs on the south coast who travel on the A27 every day.

‘We thoroughly support Andrew Tyrie’s campaign to get this back on the priority list.’

A spokesman from the Highways Agency said: ‘It has not been possible to develop all the possible future schemes identified.

‘The department will continue to consider these proposals, working closely with local and regional partners to drive down the potential costs and maximise their value for public money.’