We are local, we are vocal on A27

Your report (Gazette, October 2) on the Arundel public meeting on the proposed A27 bypass contained errors, the most glaring of which was Nick Herbert MP’s assertion that the meeting was organised by ‘anti-road green groups’.
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The meeting was, in fact, solely organised by Arundel residents. The group got together earlier this year, under the name of Arundel SCATE, concerned that local people were being railroaded into accepting a highly damaging road scheme without being informed or consulted.

A study run by the Department for Transport (DfT), on trunk road development along the A27, is now at an advanced stage, having had little publicity. Elected representatives, including MPs, West Sussex County Council and other authorities have contributed to this study, assuring the DfT that Arundel residents are fully behind their preferred route, which would mean a major dual carriageway running across the River Arun flood plain and through local ancient woodland.

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Arundel SCATE has discovered that many residents are unaware of any details of this route or even, in many cases, even of the existence of plans. Residents, both supporters of a new road and opponents, have voiced dismay and anger that proposals that seriously affect their countryside have been pursued in their name, without their consent.

The report on the public meeting also failed to mention that meeting was chaired by Arundel resident Dr Peter Smith and that invited speaker Chris Todd was, in fact, from the Campaign for Better Transport, reinforcing the idea that this was not a locally organised meeting of concern to all.

Arundel SCATE is entirely made up of concerned residents of Arundel and its environs (though its membership is spreading to places like Binsted). The group joined the newly formed South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment (SCATE), to ensure it was fully informed. SCATE comprises other local groups affected by road proposals along the A27, from Arundel to east of Lewes, along with regional bodies such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and Sussex Wildlife Trust (SWT), co-ordinated by the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT). However, Arundel SCATE is independent.

CPRE, SWT and CBT are on the DfT reference group for the A27 study.

Arundel SCATE can be contacted at [email protected]

Rita Godfrey

Kirdford Road


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