NOW IS the time for people of Portsmouth to have their say on the controversial A27 Chichester bypass.
That is the message from a campaigner following the news that the consultation for an improved A27 at Chichester could be re-run entirely.
This was prompted by West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith, and comes after months of public outrage, especially towards Highways England.
The government agency suddenly reduced the bypass options from seven to five before public consultations began in the summer.
The decision saw the option to create a northern bypass removed altogether and left Chichester City Council backing the £280m Option 2, and the 41 months of construction that comes with it.
A Chichester resident living north of the city, said: ‘I want people living in Portsmouth to know that 41 months of mayhem on the A27 will affect them.
‘There will be implications for what is already a gridlocked section of the road, affecting both local and through traffic.’
Many believe it’s unfair they didn’t get to have their say on a possible northern route, which Highways England eventually said was too expensive, before it was dropped. Cllr Goldsmith’s intervention could see those options reinstated.
Other campaigners say the amount of through traffic the A27 carries is 42 per cent, and claim those supporting southern routes are using old data, which states it’s 20 per cent.
The resident added: ‘I believe the readership of The News should have their say in the matter, and if they feel it necessary, call for the reinstatement of the northern route as an option so the facts are at least on the table for public consultation.
‘They can do this by signing a petition which has now received 3,800 signatures.’
Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones, said: ‘It’s disappointing we find ourselves in a situation where long awaited improvements to the A27 are set to be delayed.
‘Highways England needs to work efficiently with local stakeholders to ensure a new scheme that meets everyone’s needs is agreed as soon as possible.’