IAN HART: Whatever happened to common sense?
So a packed public meeting at the Pavilion Theatre on Friday allegedly sorted the fact from the fiction. But like that famous Johnny Nash hit from the 1970s, ultimately left more questions than answers.
With more than 800 local residents attending a meeting, which, given the subject matter, became both heated and animated at times, the upshot was that a bypass for Worthing is apparently not a viable option – thankfully, neither is a ‘superhighway’ from Lyons Farm to Patching, with up to 300 homes being subject to compulsory purchase.
The bypass is ruled out by the National Park status of the South Downs and the proposed cost, £950million. Given the fact that the Government has only set aside £50million to £100million for the whole project, it throws up questions.
Is this tantamount to teasing? Why put all these various options into the mix when it’s clear if common sense won the day and a bypass was approved the money is simply not there?
The subject of traffic lights at Grove Lodge are almost a distraction. In term time, with the volume of students crossing those carriageways, lights are essential, otherwise how many teenagers in headphones or on phones and ultimately not paying attention run the risk of being knocked down?
The bottom line is that there are more cars on the road than ever before.
This number will continue to increase rather than decrease, and the current road network simply cannot cater for the vehicle numbers in order to provide acceptable journey times.
We’ve almost reached an impasse now. I, like thousands of others, want a bypass. It is the only viable option, but if they can’t cover the cost then it’s a non-starter.
One thing’s for sure, this issue won’t go away, and no doubt the incumbent Herald columnist in 20 years will probably still be writing about the subject. Unless, that is, common sense prevails, funding is miraculously found, the National Park issue is reworked and we get the bypass we not only need but ultimately deserve.
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