The committed scheme has always been to improve the existing junctions and previously both County and District Councils along with others have pushed for this to happen. Of course improvements don’t come without disruption.
We fully recognise that there will be some pain to go through whilst the existing junctions are upgraded but to support a new bypass on the basis of it being entirely un disruptive is a short term and misguided theory. And here is why:
How the flow of traffic during works will be managed is very dependent on which option is selected. A number of the online options have small link roads which could be constructed so that they can carry traffic during the construction phase, this won't solve all the issues but will help mitigate some of it. Highways England and WSCC also own significant amounts of land either side of the road so can put in temporary lanes to move the traffic around the roadworks.
It is entirely possible to manage the works and programme them in such a way that the traffic flow impact is minimised, this is well within the capability of the engineers and is why we feel we should be collectively pushing for a properly programmed and managed build phase to address this. Yes it will be more expensive due to the logistics but in a cost vs benefit analysis the increased build cost vs minimised disruption should equate favourably.
Not all junctions would be upgraded together, they would be worked individually to minimise disruption. The position of junctions can also be moved, making the finished product much safer, and the slip roads for the newly positioned junctions used to move traffic during the build phase.
Yes there will be disruption whilst they improve the junctions but then there will be this with a new bypass which will have two large connections to the existing road which are massive engineering projects and themselves would cause congestion that backs up along the existing stretch. The only option that has no disruption to the existing road is a "do nothing" option and all parties agree this is not an option!
The construction of a new bypass will massively disrupt the local roads to the north of the city during the build phase and so all the people who use the local roads to the north to "rat run" and avoid the current A27 (a lot of people from experience) will be forced to use the A27 making it even busier for the duration of the build (2-3 years)
Every study for the last 10 years suggests that even if you build a new bypass, the existing road would need the junctions improved in the next 10 years. This is categorically stated in the 2014 project review. So every junction would need to have a major series of works and with it would come all the roadworks and disruption on top of the disruption from the new bypass construction. It is just delaying the inevitable.
We need a long term solution not a short term perceived benefit.