What They Say about the Arundel A27
This is a network including local individuals and businesses and also locally interested organisations, see www.arundela27forum.org.uk for details.
Typically of those in sympathy with the aims of this network, on behalf of the National Park community's Society, Steve Ankers writes on the Arundel A27 Forum website:
“The South Downs Society believes that the New Purple Route, while details remain to be settled, is likely to offer the best prospect for achieving the aim of improving traffic flow while minimising negative environmental impacts, both within and outside the national park. It is essential that this option be developed fully for public consultation. The Society intends to continue its engagement in the process of scheme evaluation and is keen to work with other like-minded organisations.”
Arundel Town (includes Tortington Village, also separately referenced below) has traditionally supported Option 3 (Pink-Blue) in its Council though there are now some councillors supporting the Option 1 alignment, albeit preferring a wide single carriageway version.
ArundelSCATE or ASCATE. Click here for the ArundelSCATE website. Click here to read their Facebook page.
ASCATE is an independent Arundel area residents group favouring the Option 1 alignment at 40mph, but in a wide single carriageway version. If you want to join the ArundelSCATE group, show your support and be kept informed, email the organiser Kay Wagland.
Arun District Council
- are in process of reviewing their Local Plan policies includingTransport policy which currently includes a policy to safeguard the line of the A27 Pink/Blue route (referred to now as Option 3). Councillor Norman Dingemans, in his capacity as Arun District Councillor, has taken on board the need to represent communities in Arun by keeping all options open at this stage whether offline or online. The policies currently in the Arun Local Plan were subject to review at its Examination In Public and the comments submitted by Emma Tristram for consideration at the EIP can be read on these links:
- Shockingly: Arun District Council ignored all ecological and community impact evidence provided by ABNC showing 5A to be the worst option, and determined in the Aug-Oct 2017 consultation to support 5A based solely on the reports provided by Highways England which gave a misleading impression based on old and partial data that 5A was the least damaging offline option.
In Oct 2017 the biggest UK anti-road demonstration since the 1990s was held against Option 5A, with over 400 protestors carrying banners on a march to hear speakers on the route from South Downs Society, CPRE Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. They were supported by strong contingents from Walberton, Arundel (ASCATE) and Tortington Local Community. Much has been written about Binsted on this site, on the Binsted Village website and also in our village book, 'Binsted and Beyond'. Binsted is a gathering place for those who love the traditional English countryside. Friends of the area come from Arundel, Tortington, Walberton, Slindon, Barnham, Yapton and further afield to join Binsted villagers in our 11th century church services, harvest suppers and other events. Most notable is our annual Strawberry Fair where we sell local plants and produce, show local sheep and other animals, feature local traditional musicians, and attract 1000+ people who love to come to Binsted in the course of one summer afternoon. The places where people live walk and work, the church and Strawberry Fair fields and the beautiful Binsted Park would no longer be in quiet isolated countryside.
Click here to read what the candidates in the 2015 General Election said about the A27 and the Arundel Bypass
MP for this area Nick Herbert
has publicly stated that he does not support Option B, in the letter to residents of Walberton Binsted and Fontwell which you can read here. In the Aug-Oct 2017 consultation, stated that he is supporting Option 3 rather than 5A or 1. The established process by which government takes decisions on major trunk road changes can be read by clicking here.
The SCATE Network
The South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment is a networking group for communications between independent organisations all of whom are sympathetic to the following objectives:
- Promote sustainable transport solutions (for personal travel and freight)
- Seek better land use, infrastructure and transport planning to reduce the need to travel and dependence on the private car
- Oppose damaging road-building schemes along the south coast corridor
- Ensure that the environment is properly valued (for its contribution to the economy and human health) and that full consideration in particular is given to impacts on landscape, biodiversity and climate change in all decision making.
The South Downs National Park Authority
Before the South Downs National Park was designated, an A27 Arundel Bypass on the Pink/Blue route (now 'Option A') had been proposed - and rejected by Alastair Darling on environmental grounds, stating that the damage to the Arundel watermeadows area would be unacceptable and a different solution must be found.
On 25th June 2014 the Chief Executive of the National Park Authority wrote the letter you can read here, explaining the emerging approach of the National Park Authority on this issue. On 28th October the National Park Authority Members finalized their Position Statement on major transport infrastructure proposals which you can read here.
The boundary of the National Park in the Arundel area can be seen on the two maps available here and here. It is important to understand that the Section 62 statutory duty of the Highways Agency to have regard to the Purposes and Special Qualities of the National Park aimed primarily at conserving and enhancing the countryside, does not stop at the boundary line of the National Park. How this applies to the landscape south-west of Arundel has been set out as evidence by ABNC Secretary Emma Tristram in a paper sent 12.10.14 to the South Downs National Park Authority, which you can read here.
The land traversed by Options 3 and 5A has protected National Park status.
- Option 5A damages the integrity of the mediaeval parish landscape of Binsted, which straddles the Park boundary – a landscape which fulfils many of the seven ‘special qualities’ which the Park’s policies are designed to protect.
- Option 5A would bring more noise on the SW prevailing winds from faster-travelling vehicles into the Ancient Woodland of Binsted Woods, within the Park, with all its well-loved footpaths. It would also sever the mixed woodland landscape from its adjacent communities in Binsted and Walberton, neighbouring villages Yapton and Barnham, and coastal communities (Bognor is now connected to Barnham via a cycle track). All these communities at present enjoy access on foot, horse or bicycle into the Park without crossing major roads.
Many more people live in Tortington now than did so in 1987 when a whole range of online, near-online and offline options were last consulted on. There are about 55 dwellings in the Manor and about another 25 in the old village; so the population of Tortington, close to Options 3 and 5A, may now be about 150. Tortington and Binsted were formerly a combined parish and the communities have much in common. Tortington residents are very concerned about the impact on their lives and environment of any route option through Tortington. If you would like to be put in touch with others in Tortington concerned about these issues, please email via the Tortington Local Community website, which includes local community comment on A27 options.
There is a community of people who have recently bought small woodlands in Tortington Common and are managing them for example for coppice wood production and for enhanced habitats and wildlife. They are doing a lot to restore productive life and increased biodiversity to this formerly replanted part of the ancient woodland complex. These small woodlands are threatened by the 'Option 3' route. See for example www.noorwood.co.uk
Lyminster Parish has particular problems created by traffic at peak times on and approaching the incomplete Crossbush junction. ABNC would like to understand these problems and work with Lyminster to give mutual support.
Walberton Parish Council objects strongly to Option 5A.Walberton Binsted and Fontwell form a single closely interwoven community. Walberton people enjoy Binsted as their countryside and Binsted people go to the school shops and village hall in Walberton; the vicar and choir serve both; and so on. An option through Binsted would sever this community. Walberton Parish Council was shockingly excluded from a pre-consultation Highways England meeting to which an Arundel Town Council representative was invited, and though worst impacted by 5A, was not given a manned exhibition in the consultation - clear evidence of bias in the consultation.
Warningcamp and Burpham
Residents in these villages have for many years had great difficulty in getting out onto the A27 from Crossbush Lane at busy times. Any of the three road options in the Consultation should solve that difficulty.
West Sussex County Council:
- Shockingly: West Sussex County Council ignored all ecological and community impact evidence provided by ABNC showing 5A to be the worst option, and determined in the Aug-Oct 2017 consultation to support 5A based solely on the reports provided by Highways England which gave a misleading impression based on old and partial data that 5A was the least damaging offline option.
And Beyond: Barnham, Yapton, Slindon, ...
Many from surrounding parishes love to walk into Binsted's countryside, or are involved with the community here whether as Churchwarden, National Park Volunteer, farm worker or in other ways.
If you would like support us, then send us an email with your contact details.
We will keep you in touch with Arundel A27 affairs by e-newsletter.