Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert remains confident that the A27 Arundel bypass will go ahead despite a ‘disappointing’ delay in the planned timetable.
Responding to an announcement from Highways England which advises further consultation will be delayed until late Summer, Mr Herbert said: “The delay is disappointing, caused partly by judicial reviews but also ‘new information.’ The funding is still there, and the process continues. I am confident that this much needed and long overdue improvement will go ahead.”
Highways England have issued an updated progress report on their website: “Following our preferred route announcement in May 2018, we began carrying out our studies and surveys of the preferred route and surrounding area to progress preliminary design for the A27 Arundel Bypass.
“In doing so, we have discovered new and important information that could affect our decision around the most appropriate option for the improvement scheme.
“Our priority is to ensure we fully consider our customers and communities in the design and delivery of all road improvement schemes, so we will be holding a further public consultation to ensure the option we choose is the best solution for the area – this is planned for late summer 2019.”
The Government announced £250 million funding for the bypass in December 2014, following a campaign led by Nick Herbert, and Highways England first consulted on the routes between August and October 2017.
A preferred route – an offline bypass – was announced in May 2018. The next phase should have been a statutory consultation on this route in October 2018 but judicial reviews by the South Downs National Park Authority and others have delayed this and required Highways England to undertake a new round of pre-statutory consultation.
This means that work cannot be expected to begin on the bypass, assuming approval of the preferred route by the Planning Inspector and then finally the Transport Secretary, until 2022 rather than 2020 as originally envisaged.
See this New Release on Nick Herbert's website - here.