Councillors, community groups and campaigners came together last night (Monday 6 March) to pledge their support in finding a way forward for improvements to the A27 at Chichester.
The meeting was called by West Sussex County Council Leader, Louise Goldsmith, following the news last week that the planned improvements to the road had been cancelled by the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling.
Louise said: “Following the events of the last week I thought it imperative that the community unites to demonstrate our willingness to work together to find a way forward.
“I am so grateful to everyone who came last night and for all the views which were expressed. My wish is that we all now work together to explore the ‘Art of the Possible for Chichester’ and the current challenges we face on the A27.
“I was heartened by the response from the community and I think we have a unique opportunity to now work towards a solution which is right for Chichester.”
The MP, Andrew Tyrie, and Chichester District Council Leader, Tony Dignum, were among those who attended the meeting at County Hall, Chichester, along with the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, and Chichester College Principal, Shelagh Legrave OBE.
Louise added: “Last year’s consultation should have been conducted in a more open and transparent manner and now we have been able to see and study the results we can see that the outcome fully demonstrates that this was a flawed consultation process, and one rightly not acceptable to our community.
“The process so far and the options which were put forward were not good enough. Now it’s up to us to find the best solution for this wonderful city and convince the Secretary of State to reconsider his decision.
“We don’t have all the answers and we don’t know when this will reach a conclusion, but we do know that the community of Chichester will do all it can to secure the improvements we all desperately need.”
Following the meeting the County Council has confirmed that the intention is to arrange community workshops to draw on the expertise and knowledge of people locally and to bring in outside experience and impartiality where needed.