Last Chance to comment on Arundel Bypass proposals

This is not strictly a VAG issue, but the final Option that is chosen does have implications for future development and traffic in Arun District, and will directly affect the BEW area.

I have made some very recent changes to the comments below so please read through again if you need to inform your views on the subject.

Here is the website with info about how to respond: https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/a27-arundel-bypass/

or email: A27ArundelBypass@highwaysengland.co.uk The deadline is 16th October so you have 5 days to respond!!!

The VAG view is related to the knock on effect each particular Option will have.  Option 1 does seem the cheapest and common sense choice although it is strongly opposed by Arundel groups who see it as creating an eyesore with a flyover over the water meadows as well as not dealing with the problem of the town being split in two.  Options 3 or 5a are favoured by Arun DC.  These choices would allow a link road from the A259 to the Arundel Bypass but no connecting junction is shown on present plans. If there was a junction it would allow traffic/infrastructure for any new developments around Ford to access the main A27 easily. This would ease congestion on the already overloaded A259.  It would encourage further development  at Ford rather than at BEW.  VAG certainly supports CPRE’s desire to protect every piece of woodland and green area that exists, but I think almost everyone agrees that an Arundel Bypass is badly needed to relieve the traffic problems.  So, it is up to any readers of this post to consider all these points and decide what comments, if any, you wish to make to Highways England.

Note:

Option 1 is basically a modification of the existing route & goes just south west of the railway station. It has the major disadvantage of cutting Arundel  in two, and has a traffic light controlled roundabout at Ford Lane, which would do nothing to speed up the A27.

Option 3 loops through the pine forested area of Binstead woods. It then cuts through a coppiced chestnut wood. According to CPRE, there are valuable parts of this woodland and much of it is 400 years old at least.

Option 5a does not skirt the wood as the GoogleEarth view would indicate but actually does cause major destruction to some very old English hardwood woodland at the western end of its route and  would disrupt the dispersed settlement of Binstead which has the feel of a place where time has stood still.

In summary, the VAG view is that Option 3 is less damaging than Option 5a   Also, it does not disrupt the settlement of Binsted as disastrously as Option 5a.   VAG does NOT support Option 5a for the above reasons mentioned. Option 1 is the CPRE preferred Route and it does not damage the Binsted Woods.

CPRE, Sussex Branch views (from Director,  Kia Trainor), are as follows:-

All the current Arundel bypass proposals would damage the existing character or distinctive features in the surrounding landscape, including the South Downs National Park and its special qualities, mature woodland (most of which is ancient semi-natural woodland), the Arun floodplain, high levels of tranquillity and dark night skies, which are highly valued and cannot be replaced. The iconic view of Arundel and Arundel Castle from the south, views over the Arun floodplain and the setting of the SDNP would be heavily impacted. This is some of the best Sussex has to offer in terms of beauty and heritage – our national treasures. Approving any of the current proposals would go against Government guidance to avoid major development in National Parks.

However, If a proposal is taken forward, CPRE Sussex would like to see a re-working of Option 1 which has a much greater benefit to cost ratio than the other options. In addition to a lower overall financial cost, the close alignment of the new offline section to the existing A27 would reduce landscape and visual impacts compared to the other two options. Local groups developing improved proposals for Option 1 and we believe that this should be more fully explored as we move through further phases of the programme

I just want to highlight the fact that if Options 3 or 5a are progressed, not only will this cause huge damage to the Arun countryside and the National Park, it will also give the green light to even more development. Whenever we get a bypass we get infill development (for example in Brighton, the land between the city and the bypass to the West of the City called Toads Hole Valley has now been allocated for development – the city now comes up the bypass. Look also at Chichester) I would like to urge you to object to options 3 and 5a. I am happy for you to use the text above. If you are part of a parish or town council please, please see if they will object. Even if you do not abut the A27, this is your district so you have every right to have your say. Storrington and other PCs outside of Arun will be supporting Options 5a or 3.

You can view all the proposals at the first link to Highways England website. They have made videos of each of the Options.  There is also a very good Online Survey to make your views known. Remember, – the Deadline is  16th October 2017. Use the links at the top of this post to view the various Options and make your comments.

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