The Arundel Bypass Project and the ‘OneArundel’ Bypass Support Group
‘OneArundel’ has recently been formed by a group of residents to give a voice to those who support the full offline bypass known as the Pink/Blue route. We have come together to reflect the views of the large majority of residents in Arundel and the surrounding towns and villages, and our aim is to create a platform so that their voices can be clearly heard during the Highways England consultation periods this year and next.
The current route of the A27 has effectively divided the town into two, with many cars now using both the centre of town and Canada Road as rat runs to try to avoid the queues.
Traffic congestion has been growing steadily worse in Arundel over the last few years and the jams that used to take place mainly during the rush hours now occur at any time of the day, 7 days a week. Tourism forms a large part of the lifeblood of the town, and there is a danger that visitors will be put off coming here because of Arundel’s growing reputation as a traffic blackspot. The surrounding region is also frequently plagued by heavy traffic seeking ways to avoid the clogged A27. These ever increasing traffic snarl ups are caused by a combination of different choke points - Crossbush junction, the traffic lights by Arundel Station, the two roundabouts and, of course, by the stepping down of the dual carriageway either side of the town into a single lane. As the saying goes - two into one doesn't go!
Highways England is now studying the traffic problems here on the basis that the Arundel section of the A27 lacks both road and junction capacity, and because planned housing growth along the wider A27 corridor is likely to worsen the problem. The aim is to produce a scheme which will link together the two existing dual carriageway sections of the A27 either side of Arundel.
Their objectives are to reduce congestion and travel time, reconnect communities currently separated by the A27, support the wider economy, reduce pollution, enable local planning authorities to manage the impact of planned growth, minimise the effect on the natural environment, improve accessibility for all users and optimise opportunities through good design.
Highways England expect to be able to set out the proposed options for the A27 Arundel Bypass and to seek the views of residents in the Summer of 2017 and, after that, the timetable is expected to be:
*Preferred route announcement - Winter 2017
*Statutory public consultation on the preferred option - Spring 2018
*Construction - 2020
*open to traffic – 2022
David Cooper, Chairman of OneArundel has explained that:
“It is very important that the pro-bypass views of the majority of the residents of Arundel and the surrounding areas are heard loud and clear. We have waited for over 30 years for a bypass so it’s essential that we do not miss out. With everyone’s support we can make sure that the solution to Arundel’s traffic problems can be realised. We will work together with interested individuals, businesses and organisations to support the work of Highways England, with the initial aim of being fully ready to participate in the public consultation exercise later this summer.
Nick Herbert, the MP for Arundel and South Downs, has said:
“I welcome the launch of OneArundel to make the case for the much-needed bypass. Congestion in Arundel doesn’t just affect the town - it drives traffic up through the South Downs and the National Park, badly affecting many villages in my constituency. That’s why I believe there’s wide support for the bypass across West Sussex. I fought hard to have the bypass included in the Government's roads programme, and work is due to start in three years time. Such a major investment would be a tremendous boon for our area, and we must not lose it.”