A CAMPAIGN group has condemned the government’s decision to abandon the A27 bypass improvement scheme.
Chichester Deserves Better (CDB) says the decision by transport secretary Chris Grayling to pull all funding is ‘a travesty,’ after months of planning and consultations.
The group is calling on West Sussex County Council to explain what it will do to improve ‘the lamentable road system around Chichester’.
A spokesperson for CDB said: ‘It’s a travesty that up to £250m of public investment for improvements to the A27 at Chichester have been cancelled, yet work at Arundel will proceed.
‘This decision is a direct result of the misguided actions of the leaders of Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council.
‘Both withdrew their support and have been unwilling to provide the leadership required to enable a coherent, united and positive response to the Highways England public consultation.
‘They have proved to be ineffective stakeholders in the process.’
The leader of West Sussex County Council, Louise Goldsmith, expressed her disappointment about the decision, despite the campaign group’s claims the council has been unsupportive.
She said: ‘We are naturally deeply disappointed with the announcement.
‘But we are doing all we can to persuade Mr Grayling to reconsider his decision, given the evident need of investment for the infrastructure of our county.
‘The cancellation means the dreadful congestion experienced by motorists everyday on this road will get worse.
‘This is not only felt at peak times, but also on alternative routes used by motorists avoiding the A27.’
But CDC is dissatisfied with the uncertainty that now surrounds the project.
It added: ‘There is now no certainty as to when and if any central government funding will be available for this project in the future.
‘West Sussex County Council needs to abandon aspirations for an unaffordable and undeliverable northern bypass that has derailed this upgrade project.
It added: ‘It needs to work with CDC to provide the necessary leadership to unite the community.’