LETTER: Do we need an Arundel bypass?

Re: Arundel bypass.

Last week’s Arundel Town Meeting, called to allow local people to express their opinion, seemed a great success. The efficient representative from Highways England (HE) was especially thorough and forthright.

The meeting raised three new issues for Arundel, that may not have been previously considered:

1. Urbanisation of the Arun Estuary – Mr Nick Herbert MP confirmed the plan to build 20,000 new homes in Arun.

To put this into scale, the population of Littlehampton is 27,985 (2011) and Arundel’s population is 4,298 (2011). 20,000 houses at 2.5 people per house = 50,000 new inhabitants. It was agreed that the A27 improvements enable this expansion.

2. North/South route – all of the options for the bypass include a Lyminster bypass. I asked the HE rep whether his department had considered the north/south traffic consequences of the whole scheme. I pointed out that the Lyminster bypass joins the ‘new’ A27 to the east of Arundel but that the natural route north (A29) lay to the west of Arundel. He agreed this was correct and admitted that his department had not been briefed to include this aspect in their work.

My concern is that this enormous population increase is not all going to travel east/west. Many will work and travel north of here. The larger Arundel bypass options will compel these folk to travel through the centre of town from Crossbush.

So, maybe by 2030, by the present measures, we could find even more traffic passing through Arundel as presently.

3. The government has already announced that the sale of petrol and diesel cars will end by 2040 (which removes the pollution argument) but, even more significantly, the imminent and expected arrival of autonomous driving will revolutionise everything.

I asked the HE rep whether their studies had taken account of these newly announced government policies and future expectations. He emphatically said that they hadn’t.

I am not convinced that, in the foreseeable future, Arundel needs a by-pass at all. Individual travel is about to change very significantly and change happens fast.

As the population figures show, Arundel isn’t so important when votes are counted, but it is most beautiful town in West Sussex. To build all these houses on the last green corridor on the south east coast? We all want to save the environment but in reality the best we can do is to just look after out own piece of the planet.

Paul Goddard

Maltravers Street, Arundel