More than 50 residents of Arundel and the local villages of Tortington, Binsted and Walberton gathered at safe distances by St Mary’s, the 12th century church at Binsted, to protest against the latest announcement by Highways England of ‘grey’ as their preferred route.
The grey dual carriageway is the longest and most expensive of the options Highways put forward, with the greatest time saving for drivers and with no damage to ancient woodland or the South Downs National Park.
But it is the worst-case scenario for the villages and would pass within yards of the church and Walberton’s primary school and the new Avisford Grange housing development being built.
The protesters called instead for a much shorter route, not endorsed by Highways, known as the Arundel Alternative.
“It offers a much shorter and less damaging section of new, wide single carriageway, south of Arundel station”, said Rita Godfrey of resident group Arundel SCATE.
“The Arundel Alternative is designed to ease congestion and minimise environmental damage, while being affordable. Highways England wants to build ever increasing traffic raising carbon emissions when we know we just can’t do this in a climate crisis and can’t afford it financially.”
“The bypass Grey option is mega-destructive,” said Gilly McCadden from the Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee. “It would devastate Arundel’s landscape, the National Park setting and the Arun valley. It would cut through and destroy historic village communities at Tortington, Walberton and Binsted.”