TRADERS in Arundel have breathed a sigh of relief after troublesome roadworks at Crossbush were all but completed hours before the Easter weekend.
The Crossbush interchange, which for the past month has been at the centre of major traffic disruption across the area, leading to a worrying slump in business for Arundel traders, was reopened on Thursday, with the temporary contraflow removed.
The early finish followed a desperate appeal by Arundel traders, the town’s Arun District Council representative, Paul Dendle, and MP, Nick Herbert, urging the Highways Agency – the authority in charge of the work – to complete the scheme before Easter.
Now, with only minor resurfacing work left to complete at the intersection, traders are at last hoping that business will pick up in time for the summer season.
James Stewart, co-chairman of Arundel Chamber of Commerce, who also runs the Zimmer Stewart Gallery, in Tarrant Street, said: “We look forward to business getting back to normal and welcoming the many visitors and near residents who frequent this traditional market town, full of both heritage and contemporary shops, cafés and restaurants.
“There will be a time in due course for a review of how the works were planned and managed, as well as communications within the various local authorities concerned.
“We would like to thank Nick Herbert and Paul Dendle for their swift and continuous attention in this matter.”
On Thursday, roads minister Mike Penning apologised for any disruption traders and motorists in the area experienced during the Crossbush roadworks.
He said: “Listening to local people is important to us, and we are pleased we have been able to respond to their concerns by speeding up the completion of our junction improvement work on the A27 at Crossbush.
“I would like to thank drivers and local people for their patience while this essential work was carried out, and apologise again for any inconvenience they experienced as a result.”