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Bypass proposals

Concerned residents fear for the countryside if a proposed A27 Arundel bypass goes ahead.

 

People from around the Post area gathered to look over the colour-coded plans at a consultation hosted by Highways England.

 

The proposals outlined the six possible routes for around Arundel.

 

While many of the residents acknowledged that there is a need for a change, few were able to decide which option was suitable.

 

Ron Mackenzie, of Barnham, said: “There is undoubtedly a lot to take in. We came because we wanted to see the plans and see how they would each affect the environment. There is a definite need for a new or improved road, but picking the right one is a very difficult decision.

 

“National policy guidelines are going to have to be broken to achieve any of the schemes. One must be picked but it’s difficult. I think the magenta or cyan routes are the best of the bunch.”

Jenny Tyson echoed these concerns. She said: “I think it’s going to be very brutal, whatever they do. It’s just a swathe cutting through the countryside.
“It’s disappointing that we’re just getting a positive view. We need a for and against, not just presenting the information.
“We should have had someone from the national park to talk to us as well.”

 

Arun Cllr Hugh Coster (I, Aldwick E) also attended the consultation at Fontwell Racecourse on Saturday.
Acknowledging that it isn’t an easy decision to make, he did also point out that people should be the priority.

 

He said: “Originally the favoured road was the pink/blue route. This has now become the magenta route which goes through woodland.

 

“This land belongs to the South Downs National Park, who say that it is an ancient woodland. It is in fact actually a conifer plantation, with only a small section of ancient woodland.

 

“They say that the soil is the concern rather than the trees, as it was an ancient woodland previously. To me that sounds silly, because surely every bit of soil is ancient? The conifer plantation is the second one on that area since the war, so I’m not greatly concerned about that.

 

“Unfortunately, whatever you do there is going to be damage to wildlife, whether that be putting the road on fields or through the woods.
“At least the crimson route doesn’t damage many people’s homes.”

 

Compared to the beige route, which is predicted to damage around 142 residential properties should it go ahead, the crimson route is set to impact only three, despite taking longer to build.

 

Cllr Coster also made it clear that the final route must have a proper junction with Ford Road.
“At the moment,” he said, “The beige route is the only one that does this, but even that isn’t sufficient.

 

Some campaigners fear a village will be decimated if the A27 Arundel bypass goes ahead.

 

They say the magenta option would especially have a devastating impact on the settlement.

 

Resident Bill Treves said: “The amber option is bad for Binsted, but magenta would crucify the village.

 

“It snakes from end to end of the village, destroying properties left, right and centre, and leaving what’s left of us separated by four lanes of 70mph traffic.

 

“No more village, no more community, no more strawberry fair, no more arts festival, no more pub, no more services in our 12th century church, no more future, no more hope. It’s an absurdly massive level of destruction to save just a few minutes’ driving time.”

 

The campaigners, who are members of a range of groups, say it is difficult to back an Arundel Alternative route.

 

Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee secretary Emma Tristram said: “They want a dual carriageway scheme. But there is no way to show that you think a damaging dual carriageway scheme is out of the question, and still have your response counted.”

 

Kay Wagland, of South Coast Alliance on Transport and the Environment, said: “A much less damaging solution would be the Arundel Alternative.

 

“It’s a short section of wide single carriageway bypass at 40mph, cutting out pinch points, and allowing traffic to flow without ruining our local environment.”
The campaigners say the plans are as flawed as the initial set, which led to a judicial review.

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