Two member groups of SCATE, A27 Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee and Arundel SCATE recently held a demonstration against the route chosen by Highways England to bypass Arundel. This “Grey route” would severely affect the villages of Tortington and Binsted as well as ploughing through an internationally important area for bats. The increased capacity on the road would encourage more traffic – creating more air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Residents from Arundel, and the three villages that will be seriously damaged if the 8 km Arundel Bypass goes ahead, gathered at the site of one of the proposed bridges. Their protest was surrounded by historic and wildlife-rich landscape.
Highways England has carried out two rounds of consultation to decide the preferred route but have gone against the overwhelming majority of locals. Only 7% of local respondents chose the grey option. There was however, majority support (61%) for “doing nothing” or to upgrads the current course of the road. These options would have less environmental impacts; both in terms of carbon emissions and ecological damage. . On-line upgrades are supported by Arundel SCATE and Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee.
Arundel SCATE has proposed the A27 Alternative: a series of improvements to local transport to ease congestion whilst minimising road capacity increases. The alternative plans include upgrades to the current road, restored half hourly bus services to Southampton (currently hourly) and increased walking and cycling connectivity (particularly to Ford railway station, making Arundel a two station town).
The current situation is that Highways England has appointed a contractor to build the road despite the fact that the formal statutory consultation has not yet begun. Geological and Ecological surveys are happening, and are operating out of the compounds set up on the current A27.
BUT THERE IS INCREASING HOPE… The statutory consultation for the bypass is yet to start, and the campaign effort is fighting hard for the scrapping of the scheme.
What can you do to help?
- Arundel SCATE and Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee are always open to new members from the local area, please email ArundelSCATE@gmail.com or visit www.arundelbypass.co.uk.
- Write to the leader of the council, Paul Marshall – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write to the local MP, Andrew Griffith – Andrew@GriffithMP.com
- Join SCATE at www.scate.org.uk/about-us/how-to-join
- See www.a27arundel.org and www.arundelbypass.co.uk and www.arundelalternative.org for more information.