- Drop the Binsted Option from the shortlist nowSolve Arundel's A27 tailbacks with a Short Bypass
What are the Options for a new Arundel Bypass?
Working from north to south as numbered above, they are:
1. A New Purple Route
Highways' consultants Faber Maunsell in 2006 produced a moderate solution - with 40mph limit nearest the town - which solves the queuing problems without destroying the countryside, which they recommended to be taken forward for consultation:
In 2016 a New Purple Route is advocated by the Arundel group ArundelSCATE and the Arundel A27 Forum:
This is similar to the above but with suggested modifications such as a widened single carriageway. Examples of successful implementation of wide single carriageway (WS2) roads and their benefits can be found here and here.
This shorter route, without tunnelling or a deep cutting, would be more affordable. It aims to provide good flow without undermining the 2050 Vision of the South Downs National Park either within the Park boundaries, or in its immediate environs and views. It includes measures to reduce severance, encourage sustainable transport and reduce peak time car journeys.
Arguments for the New Single Purple route are presented by the Arundel A27 Forum on www.arundela27forum.org.uk, The A27 in Sussex mainly serves traffic going between homes and workplaces, villages and towns, built-up areas and productive and recreational countryside. It is part of a local transport network including other roads such as the A272 and A259, rail and bus routes. The case is made that Highways England should choose an integrated solution which makes this all work better - not one which will induce big increases in traffic, in the end lengthening queues across the area.
This option is supported, as the least damaging effective option, by a number of local organisations and also by bodies as diverse as the South Downs Society, CPRE Sussex and the Campaign for Better Transport.
2. and 3. 'Red' and 'Pink/Blue' routes
The Red route is similar in many of its impacts to the Pink/Blue route but closer in to the town.
The 1993 ('Pink/Blue') Preferred Route, rejected by Alistair Darling in 2003 on environmental grounds, was revised in 2006 by Faber Maunsell consultants with the embankment proposed to be 1m lower with the unavailing aim of providing at least a slight reduction in environmental impact, see map below.
4. The Binsted Option
Beautiful Binsted, filmed below by www.droneswork.co.uk, is threatened by one possible option, thought up by Bullen 2004 and Faber Maunsell 2006 but not published until found by ABNC through Freedom of Information enquiries.
It starts over near Crossbush, south-east of Arundel. The glorious views to and from Arundel would be scarred by massive embankments bearing loud high speed traffic. All offline routes would cause severe harm to the Arun Valley wet meadows and to Tortington village. Using our numbering above, Options 2 and 3 differ from Option 4 in that 2/3 traverse the woodland of Tortington Common, while Option 4 would destroy the village and landscape of Binsted. It would cross the fields hedges and footpaths between Binsted Church and the woodland, Binsted's Strawberry Fair fields, Binsted's Herb Nursery, homes and gardens; and it would also impact on the ancient woodland of Binsted Woods and its surrounding ancient fields and hedgerows. See map below (Faber Maunsell Report for Highways Agency, 2006).For information on the wide-ranging community impacts of the above Binsted Option, see www.binsted.org .Renowned writer and journalist Valerie Grove says of the threatened village and countryside of Binsted:
"Binsted is a wonderful, mystical place, a little gem held in the past, vitally important in the life story of Laurie Lee, most of whose poems were inspired here.
"Here is an extraordinary example of a parish unblemished by the modern world, with woodlands and wildflower meadows, and the exquisite little Norman church whose timeless quietness and beauty must surely be left undisturbed in the 21st century."
What do we need from the A27?
Some people want the Sussex A27 to be an "expressway" carrying much more long distance lorry traffic, giving this traffic priority over the needs of local traffic, businesses and residents. Others want the same thing because they believe this would enable the building of many thousands more car-based households in the Coastal Plain.
Some people just want to get to and from work more quickly, and do not understand or value the harmful consequences for the rural economy and the special qualities of the countryside around Arundel.
What West Sussex needs from the A27 is not the great increase in induced traffic that comes with the expressway standard approach. We just need the pinch points that cause unacceptable queuing to be resolved with a very short new bypass that does the minimum damage to the countryside.
Note: The Highways consultants' maps above were obtained by Freedom of Information request. The Highways Agency has published a Position Statement and schematic maps but these are entirely vague. The government's consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) have published March 2015 A27 Feasibility Study Technical Reports and Investment Cases but these contain inadequate evidence and impact assessment. A more detailed summary analysis can be read here and in the ABNC Newsletter 01.04.15.For information on the landscape and wildlife impacts of offline Options, see www.maves.org.uk
Binsted residents' call to action:
Option A - Wake-up call. Option B - Sleep-in protest.
In May 2016 Walberton Parish Council wrote to Highways England asking for a consistent approach at Arundel: as at Chichester and Worthing, drop the Binsted Option at the current Options Identification Stage. Click here to read their letter.
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