LETTER: A27: make up your own mind

Regarding the article in the September 21 edition of the Observer regarding OneArundel’s decision to support Option 5A in the A27 Arundel Bypass consultation, I would like to point out that no matter how authoritative their statements may appear they are only one of a number of pressure groups seeking to advance their own wishes by accentuating specific aspects of their preferred option or options.

Don’t be drawn by these groups but read the consultation document from Highways England, make your own mind up and respond to the consultation.

If the experience of Chichester teaches us anything it is that no option is not the best for Arundel. In the meantime, as OneArundel were featured, I would like to add my twopennyworth about their pitch.

The OneArundel group dislike the proposal for an online option to the point of ignoring it in the article even though (as put forward by Highways England) Option 1 provides a much better benefit to cost ratio (3.6) and is estimated to cost a little over half the amount of either of the other options at £135m so is an awful a lot cheaper.

Option 1 also has the benefit of having zero impact on the South Downs National Park and Binsted Woods whilst still taking a significant amount of traffic away from Storrington, Amberley and Houghton. Agreed, the design of the Ford Road junction in Option 1 looks a mess but it is not dissimilar to proposals for the A27 at Worthing and now is the time to come up with a better solution for that junction rather than discounting the whole option because of it.

OneArundel also claim they want to reunite the two parts of Arundel. However, it is impossible to reunite two things that were never united in the first place. Very old maps show the port of Arundel on a main trunk route with no building south of the line of the current road. As with consultations on other improvement schemes for the A27, notably at Chichester and Worthing, Highways England are most interested in improving the flow of through traffic. Any local benefits appear largely coincidental. Thus both the offline options will move through traffic from one side of Arundel (at Crossbush) to the other (either Havenwood Park or Yapton Lane).

In my opinion both will take traffic far enough away from Arundel so as to run the risk of making Arundel a quiet backwater.

This will not be good for business in the town and thus not improve its economy. The bypass options do not address the issues of poor public transport and difficulty in parking in the town.

Finally, I note the separate report of a leaked memo from ADC officers regarding the bypass options, seeking one of the offline options but with an additional junction at Ford Road. No doubt this is so they can open up the coastal plain from Arundel to Littlehampton for future development as they seem hell bent on concreting over the entire district.

After all, any improvement of the A27 at Arundel won’t be much use to anyone trying to access or egress from the large development sites put forward for BEW, Bersted or Pagham in the latest iteration of the ADC Local Plan.