Arundel bypass under threat after sister plans scrapped?

Is the Arundel bypass under threat? Picture: Derek Martin
Is the Arundel bypass under threat? Picture: Derek Martin

Plans for an A27 bypass at Arundel are just as controversial as those for Chichester, campaigners say.

The warning comes after Transport Secretary Chris Grayling scrapped the Chichester plans, blaming ‘withdrawal of support by local councils’ and ‘significant local campaigns’.

Despite this, Mr Grayling said ‘the A27 Arundel bypass should proceed as planned’.

But Arundel campaigners have warned the division in the Chichester community is very likely to be felt in Arundel too.

One option (‘Pink-Blue’) was previously cancelled due to the environmental damage it would cause and another impacts the village of Binsted. Both these options cut through parts of the South Downs National Park.

“It’s absurd that the Binsted option is still on the table,” said Emma Tristram, secretary of the Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee (ABNC).

“The area is a treasure trove of rare and protected wildlife. The village is also well known for its festivals.”

“Arundel people love their countryside,” said Kay Wagland, secretary of ArundelSCATE.

“We want to see traffic issues resolved, but not by sacrificing our countryside or losing local business for an unnecessary and costly dual carriageway.”

Arundel mayor councillor James Stewart said on behalf of Arundel Town Council: “a bypass is needed for Arundel to eliminate severance, reduce pollution and allow traffic to move freely.”

The council’s preferred option is the pink-blue route: “It is the shortest route requiring the minimum amount of new road. It does not go through any villages and does not go through ancient woodland,” Mr Stewart said.

While this is the council’s current view, he confirmed a new position might be arrived at once options for the A27 are finalised.

Mr Stewart promised that the options would be subject to public consultation.

A pro-bypass group called OneArundel is in the process of being formed, he added.

Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert said he was ‘dismayed’ at the Chichester decision but ‘reassured that the Arundel Bypass will proceed as planned’.

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