MP: ‘no more delays – it’s time to get on with the Arundel Bypass’
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has renewed his call for an Arundel bypass to tackle congestion and relieve traffic through the historic town and the South Downs National Park.
Responding to the announcement of a further round of consultation on routes by Highways England,
Mr Herbert said: “We desperately need a bypass to unblock the bottleneck on the A27 at Arundel and relieve traffic which currently diverts through this historic town and the precious South Downs.”
Currently the stretch of the road through Arundel is a single carriageway, which causes a daily build-up of traffic that costs commuters, businesses, communities and visitors valuable time and money.
At peak times, the road often operates at over 100 per cent capacity, causing disruption, congestion and hazards. Downland villages endure heavy traffic as motorists and lorries seek to avoid Arundel, and Storrington has one of the worst levels of air pollution in the country.
Mr Herbert said: “A proper ‘offline’ bypass is necessary, which will take traffic away from Arundel and the South Downs National Park. A dual carriageway severing Arundel would simply be unacceptable to the local community and would result in far more traffic going through the Park.
“With more housing coming to the area, traffic will only get worse. Motorists have been stuck in queues, and villages like Storrington have suffered heavy traffic and pollution, for too long. There should be no more delays - it’s time to get on with the Arundel bypass.”
The consultation document reveals that an ‘online’ bypass through Arundel would mean a two thirds traffic increase through the town and the South Downs National Park, compared with an 85 per cent decrease with an ‘offline’ bypass.
A proposed new route misses the South Downs National Park altogether, while another option would mean less than three quarters of a kilometre of the new route passing through it. By contrast, the online routes would mean nearly 2 kilometres of the route would be through the National Park. The existing route of the A27 at Arundel goes through the National Park.
The document also reveals that commuters using the A27 at Arundel twice a day could save between an hour and an hour-and-a-half of journey time every week with the new bypass.
Highways England has been forced to re-run the route consultation after facing judicial review of the process. An original planned start date for the bypass of Spring 2020 has been delayed until 2022-23. However, funding for the bypass remains in place.
Mr Herbert has campaigned strongly for an Arundel bypass, winning the Government’s announcement of the scheme together with funding of up to £250 million in December 2014.
The further consultation on the A27 Arundel Bypass by Highways England is open from 30 August until 24 October 2019.