Will Arundel be labelled ‘a town to avoid’ if no bypass is built?

The A27 near Arundel, with Tortington Common on the right. Picture: Derek Martin SUS-170314-145016008
The A27 near Arundel, with Tortington Common on the right. Picture: Derek Martin SUS-170314-145016008

“Arundel cannot afford to be isolated and labelled a town to avoid.”

That’s the message from Arundel’s business sector, according to Ian Fenwick, chairman of the Arundel Chamber of Commerce.

The ancient woodland is very underused and a lot would still remain.

Ian Fenwick, chairman of the Arundel Chamber of Commerce

Chamber members have voted ‘overwhelmingly’ in favour of an offline A27 bypass for Arundel, Mr Fenwick said.

“Access to the town is already affected by long delays and queues all year round,” he said.

He added that the town is being used as a ‘rat run’ at peak times, and that heavy traffic on the A27 is already causing pollution to the area.

Options for a bypass at Arundel have come under increased scrutiny since a similar scheme at Chichester was scrapped in February.

The chamber’s choice of bypass scheme for Arundel is the controversial ‘pink-blue’ route.

The ‘pink-blue’ route has been criticised by residents because it would go through ancient woodland in the nearby parish of Tortington.

Addressing the concerns, Mr Fenwick said: “On balance I do not think it is a major sacrifice.

“The ancient woodland is very underused and a lot would still remain.”

As a result of the vote, the ‘pink-blue’ route has been adopted as the preferred solution for the A27 of the Arundel Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Fenwick said: “In the opinion of the majority present at the meeting the bypass must go ahead.

“We do not want the Arundel bypass to end up being delayed or cancelled like the Chichester one due to lack of support.

“From a business point of view Arundel cannot afford to be isolated and labelled ‘a town to avoid’ due to delayed and congested access.

“This is an ideal opportunity to more unite the two ‘geographical’ halves of the town,” he added.

Mr Fenwick accepted that ‘every effort’ should go into encouraging people to use public transport to get to Arundel, but added: “for road users the bypass must be built and its earliest implementation encouraged.”

What do you think? Do the needs of local businesses outweigh the potential environmental impact?

Send your views to news@littlehamptongazette.co.uk