Questions raised over Arundel bypass ‘guarantee’

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QUESTIONS have been raised about the difference between plans for an Arundel bypass and previously cancelled proposals.

Central Government announced funding towards improvements on the A27, including up to £250million towards an Arundel bypass, earlier this month.

But Philip Circus, Storrington’s councillor for West Sussex County Council, and Littlehampton East county councillor, Dr James Walsh, both raised the spectre of a change in Government leading to a loss of funding at the latest full council meeting on Friday.

Dr Walsh, leader of the county council’s Liberal Democrat group, congratulated the council’s leader, Louise Goldsmith, who had earlier in the meeting described the bypass announcement as ‘the best Christmas present the county council could have had’.

Dr Walsh queried what the timetable of the scheme was as there was a ‘certain degree of urgency’ to improvements.

He asked: “Is it subject to cancellation or it is a cast-iron guarantee?”

Mrs Goldsmith replied: “We do have to continue with this and I think that after the initial feasibility study will be the consultation, so we are looking at two to three years.

“But I think that the economic case that we have made is incredibly strong and that’s not going to go away.”

She said this time was different to the last plan, which was rejected by Labour in 2003, because ‘for the first time everybody is behind us’.