Arundel bypass plans will ‘reunite’ town

The Highways England announcement that the grey route is its preferred choice for the A27 Arundel bypass is very welcome, writes reader David Cooper, chairman, OneArundel A27 Bypass Support Group, Offham, Arundel

The grey route. Picture: Highways England
The grey route. Picture: Highways England

This route runs south of Arundel, outside the South Downs National Park, but unfortunately it will be  closer to Walberton than the other five possible routes considered during the recency consultation exercise.

It is nevertheless quite wrong for the Binsted (ABNC) anti-bypass group to allege that the grey route will ‘devastate’ Arundel. It will not.

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Instead Arundel residents, together with many other users of the A27, who have vigorously campaigned for an offline bypass over many years, strongly support the Highways England decision, especially as the new road when built will reunite the town, currently divided by the existing relief road.

It will also resolve the traffic congestion at the Crossbush and Ford Road roundabouts, thereby improving safety and it  will stop the through-town rat running   which currently blights Arundel.

Furthermore, it will reduce  pollution and noise levels and, incidentally, it will mean that our friends in Storrington will no longer suffer being one of the highest polluted villages in the country.

It should also be remembered that the A27 is part of the South Coast Highway which is vital for goods and heavy transport.

Arundel would of course have been well served by any of the offline  choices but, unfortunately, the South Downs National Park Authority objected in principle to any route, however little it touched on the  national park, despite for example the reduction in traffic through the park that  the magenta route would have brought.

As chairman of the OneArundel A27 Bypass Support Group, which  has campaigned tirelessly for the Arundel bypass, it is heartening to know that our MP, Andrew Griffith, is supportive of this bypass, and especially that he  was instrumental in securing the additional funds necessary to underpin the grey route.

We are also pleased that the county council, Arun District Council and of course our own town council all support the grey route.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the support we received over many years  from our retired MP, the new Lord  Nick Herbert of South Downs.