The long-awaited feasibility study commissioned by West Sussex County Council into making the A281 Downs Link crossing safe has now been published. The report looked at three options: a bridge, a Pegasus crossing and an uncontrolled crossing of the road.
WSCC have responded by saying that, despite a bridge being in their words their “preferred option”, they are unable to make an economic case for a bridge and are undertaking further investigation work into whether a Pegasus crossing would be a viable option.
We believe a further look at the whole process needs to be made before any final decision is taken and hope to discuss this with WSCC.
- There are errors in the report, particularly regarding the traffic speed data which by the consultants’ own admission they perceived to be higher than the data suggests.
- The wider benefits of a bridge to the regional visitor economy have not been taken into account. The Downs Link draws visitors from London and further afield but without a genuinely safe crossing of the A281 this huge potential cannot be fully realised.
- The economic case has not been properly considered, for example the maintenance and replacement costs of a Pegasus crossing could – over its shorter lifespan – work out to be greater per year than the comparative costs of a bridge which lasts longer and requires less maintenance.
You can read our full statement here.