Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, has issued a statement of support for the Chichester and Bognor Regis Green Party who plan, tomorrow (8 December), to deliver Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, an open letter about the government’s handling of consultation on expanding the A27 near Chichester.
In September, Mr. Taylor joined residents at a public meeting in Chichester to discuss sustainable alternatives to A27 expansion. Five separate expansion schemes drawn up by Highways England have been almost unanimously rejected by Chichester residents.
Keith, who sits on the European Parliament’s Transport committee, said:
“This issue is vitally important, not just to the people of Chichester or to me, but to the planet too. Current proposals to ‘upgrade’ the A27 are an example of the government’s short-sighted and unsustainable approach to transport planning.
During the consultation process, it was abundantly clear that all of the five options were equally unpopular and environmentally destructive. When Chris Grayling makes his ‘preferred route’ announcement, early next year, he is expected to do so having completely ignored the feelings of the majority of local residents who prefer the ‘none of the above’ option.
Never-ending and destructive road widening is simply not the answer to our transport woes. Instead, we should be upgrading rail facilities, launching a comprehensive new bus system and investing in cycling and walking infrastructure. These are just some of the ways to deliver sustainable small-scale solutions to Chichester’s congestion problems.
I would like to express my support to Chichester Moves On, Transition Chichester, the Chichester and Bognor Regis Green Party, and the many residents from villages south of the A27 concerned about the government’s handling of the public consultation on this issue. I am urging the Transport Secretary to take their open letter and concerns seriously; he must address the issues they raise.
The hundreds of millions of pounds committed to this project would be far better spent investing in sustainable public transport options, directed by local communities, to reduce traffic, rather than needlessly ‘upgrading’ the A27 to accommodate more.”
As the Green MEP for the South East, Keith campaigns for integrated, efficient, sustainable and affordable public transport systems. In the European Parliament, Keith takes a lead on developing the South East’s huge potential for sustainable transport.