Green Party’s transport lead hears concerns about Arundel A27 bypass during visit
The Green Party’s national transport spokesperson visited West Sussex to hear concerns about the proposed Arundel A27 bypass on Saturday (October 2).
Last year National Highways, formerly Highways England, announced its preferred route for the new road, which would start at the Crossbush junction and rejoin the A27 north of Walberton.
At the weekend, campaigners took Caroline Russell to see strategic points where the grey route ‘would do irreparable damage to landscape, wildlife habitats and communities along the way’.
They say that views from the town and along the river, river plain habitats, ancient meadows and the communities of Tortington, Binsted and Walberton would all be severely affected, while communities to the south and west would suffer from added congestion and severance from woodlands.
Ms Russell said: “I was appalled by the hostile environment for pedestrians at the Ford Road roundabout. A situation has been allowed to develop here and people are told the only answer is to build a huge superhighway at vast expense. This will, as everyone seems to know, not solve anything but simply shift congestion further along the A27 in both directions.”
They also visited campaigner Emma Tristram at Binsted to hear about the effect the new bypass would have on the Grade II* listed church and ancient valley.
The group met other members and locals at Walberton Pavilion to hear Ms Russell talk about the Green Party’s priorities for transport.
Green policy is that building roads in to compatible with a future with the climate emergency and it wants to see a reduction in care use and not relying on mass electrification, while new housing should be built only when shared and active transport infrastructure is in place.
Isabel Thurston, a Green councillor in Arun, then spoke about the West Sussex Transport Plan, currently out for public consultation, which she says is heavily reliant on roadbuilding, especially in Arun.
Cllr Thurston said: “This plan goes against everything the Green Party would like to see in transport planning - the council fails to show how this plan would contribute to the county becoming carbon neutral.
“There is no firm action and no targets for CO2 reduction. The Arun area will be criss-crossed with new roads, with faster speed limits and inadequate shared transport and active travel paths. Contrary to what Arun District Council wishes to achieve, it’s a recipe for more congestion and a worse quality of life for our residents.”