MP, Nick Herbert says: 'back the National Park relief road'
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert renewed his call for an Arundel bypass to tackle congestion and relieve traffic through the historic town and the South Downs National Park.
In a statement to a meeting of the South Downs National Park Authority on Monday (1 October), Mr Herbert made the case that the Magenta route within the further round of consultation by Highways England would act as a “National Park relief road”, significantly diverting traffic away from the South Downs. The route is favoured by Arundel Town Council, other local authorities and elected representatives.
Mr Herbert said that the choice in front of them was between “2km of the A27 trunk road going through the Park, or less than three quarters of a kilometre. A two thirds increase in traffic going through the Park, or more than a four-fifths decrease. Only a proper offline bypass would take traffic away from the Park.”
The consultation document from Highways England 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 said that those wanting to stop the bypass wouldn’t be stopping traffic: “It will simply mean ever more cars and lorries rat-running through the South Downs, though the villages, through historic Arundel, through the National Park.”
“It is time to listen to this silent majority who live in and near the National Park and who have put up with lorries and cars thundering through their villages for too long. The traffic in Storrington is so bad that it has one of the worst levels of air pollution in the country.”
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.
You can read this on Nick Herbert's website here, including the full statement given to the SDNPA on 1 October.