Updated proposals for the A27 Arundel Bypass plans were unveiled last week, as National Highways began an eight-week consultation with the public. Click here to read a summary of the plans and watch a video interview with the project manager.
Walberton residents have suggested that The Street and West Walberton Lane will be unable to cope with the extra level of traffic — 42 per cent and 27 per cent respectively — brought in by the bypass.
One concerned resident, Louise Higham, drew reference to National Highways’ estimated that there will be 1,300 additional vehicles every day, including the ‘large amount of HGV traffic that currently uses Yapton Lane.
She also raised concerns over the ‘extreme danger’ to 300 children under the age of 12 at school and play groups ranged around Walberton Recreation Ground, which is accessed from The Street.
Ms Higham’s letter read: “Did you know that there is no continuous pavement along The Street in either direction and residents’ cars can be parked along both sides making the narrow street into a single lane, awkward, road at many points?
“National Highways appears to have taken no account of (or had no knowledge of) these educational institutions in previous documents, so they have not featured in any planning considerations and the new road will pass less than 100m away from them, with the consequent noise, pollution and environmental damage to both play areas and children.”
These concerns were shared by Sally Ward, who represents Walberton Friends and Neighbours — a local grassroots community group fighting the Arundel Bypass.
She said: “We are the epicentre of the disaster of Arundel Bypass.
“I am personally utterly gutted by the idea of a viaduct over the Arun Valley.
“I used to live in Arundel and walked across the river all the time.
“We are really going to hit it in Walberton.”
Ms Ward, who was diagnosed with cancer, is in remission but is still undergoing chemotherapy, whilst working hard to lead the battle against the bypass.
“I’ve had full-on days preparing and printing leaflets and getting people to help deliver them,” she said. “It’s so important.
“I spent five hours sat on the chemo chair working on the campaign because I have to.”
Ms Ward will be directing, with eight marshalls, a Covid-safe event on Sunday (January 23), where she hopes to use a drone to take a photo of dozens of unhappy residents.
This will take place at Walberton Recreation Ground from 12pm to 1pm.
“We want to get Walberton to wake up and smell the pollution,” she said.
“It is working tremendously well. More and more people are joining our social media pages.
“I am going to write more flyers about The Street and hand deliver it to every house. I will do another one about West Walberton Lane, to let them know about what’s going to hit them.”
“The photo shoot has been carefully planned to coincide with the consultation on the 22nd. We don’t want to make a fuss. We just want to make a good picture.
Ms Ward said Walberton Friends and Neighbours, Binsted Village and Arundel Skate have formed Stop Arundel Bypass Alliance.
A representative from the group will be present at every National Highways exhibition throughout January and February.
Ms Ward said: “We will be telling people about all the issues we are facing and the price Walberton is paying.”
In response to the concerns, National Highways senior project manager Andrew Jackson said: “We started the A27 Arundel Bypass statutory consultation on Monday (January 10), and we encourage people to have their say.
“We are of course interested in all views, and if people have concerns about the increase in traffic through Walberton, or anything else, I encourage them to feed these concerns back to us through the consultation.”
National Highways also addressed concerns over a lack of brochures available to the public at Walberton Baptist Church on Saturday (January 15). They said: “All the deposit points had brochures sent to them ahead of the start of the consultation, as well as reference copies of lots of the documents.
“200 copies of the brochure and 200 of the feedback forms were sent yesterday [Monday], so should be there today, ahead of the event in Walberton on Saturday.”
Details on the proposals, document inspection locations and feedback forms will be available until the consultation ends on March 8 at https://a27arundelbypass.consultation.ai/
Scroll to the top of the page to see a video flythrough of the updated proposals.