PLANS to construct a bypass around Arundel have taken a ‘significant’ step closer to being implemented.
Last week’s National Infrastructure Plan contained an update on plans to build a bypass which could relieve tension on the stretched A27, said the MP for Arundel and South Downs Nick Herbert.
The Government said a feasibility study on the A27 stretch between Arundel and Worthing – which the report labelled as ‘the most notorious and long standing hotspots in the country’ – is ‘well on track’, with the new roads minister Robert Goodwill confirming that the study would reach its conclusion by March 2015 at the latest.
Mr Herbert has since welcomed the announcement.
He said: “Anyone who’s driven on the A27 at Arundel at rush hour knows that it’s more like a coastal car park than a coastal highway.
“I’ve continually pressed for an Arundel bypass, as did my predecessor, but it was only when the new Government came to power that ministers became receptive and visited the area.
“Now, at last, we’re making progress.”
It is not clear what scale of improvements will be possible, but the Mr Goodwill said they must ‘offer value for money and (be) deliverable’.
“An Arundel bypass and dualling at Worthing would be very expensive schemes. But with this study, and the national focus on infrastructure investment, we now have a very important window of opportunity to make the strongest case for an Arundel bypass and Worthing upgrades,” Mr Herbert added.
The news has also been welcomed by Arundel Chamber of Commerce.
Jonathan Brantigan, deputy chairman of the group, said: “Some traders are concerned about the possible impact it could have on trade, potentially directing people away from Arundel.
“But in the grand scheme of things the bypass would be beneficial for the whole economy of this area. Visitors would, hopefully, no longer face the frustration of queues.”