Newsletter issued 11.5.2018
In the face of the evidence, Highways England have announced Option 5A as their Preferred Route to take to the next stage, which will be a Statutory Consultation. Click here for their brochure, for what it's worth. The weight of the evidence on environmental and community impacts and on costs was heading towards some version of Option 1. Most people who responded to the Consultation did not favour Option 5A.
The fight has only begun! Here is our Press Release issued today:
Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee Press Release 11 May 2018
Re: Highways England’s announcement that Option 5A is
the Preferred Route for the Arundel Bypass
‘Extraordinarily damaging’ bypass decision will be challenged
Campaigners have vowed they will fight today’s decision by Highways England to build a bypass across the South Downs National Park and through ancient woodland and villages near Arundel. Highways England’s Preferred Arundel Bypass Route, Option 5A, was announced today (May 11).
“This road scheme would wreak an incredible trail of destruction,” says Emma Tristram, secretary of the Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee (ABNC). “It would destroy part of the South Downs National Park, decimate ancient and ecologically important woodland, and devastate the two historic villages of Binsted and Tortington”.
“It would also lead to a huge increase of traffic in Walberton, particularly on the semi-rural road, already at capacity, which leads to the new junction,” she adds. “The fight against this extraordinarily damaging road scheme has only just begun!”
ABNC point out that this damage was heavily disguised in Highways England’s 2017 consultation by a series of gross omissions and misinformation. Campaigners say the consultation was angled to get people to vote for this route and included the following errors:
- Highways England stated 5A was ‘500m north’ of Binsted. In reality 5A would split the village – on a high embankment.
- Historic Binsted Park was claimed to be ‘outside’ the scheme and its existence hidden by misuse of its name. In reality 5A would destroy it.
- A Highways England press release stated 5A passed ‘between’ the National Park and Binsted Woods. In reality 5A would pass through and destroy parts of both.
A longer analysis of Highways England’s omissions and misinformation can be found on www.arundelbypass.co.uk.
The published 'modifications' to Option 5A make no significant difference other than bringing the route closer to the residents of Tortington, further south from Arundel.
ABNC says it will challenge Highways England’s decision on a number of counts. The group believes consultations are meant to be fair and give accurate information. Based on the errors and bias in the consultation, which prejudiced it in favour of 5A, ABNC will consider asking for a Judicial Review of the Preferred Route decision.
The 'next steps' then are:
Statutory consultation, Development Consent Order, Decision by a Planning Inspector, and Decision by the Secretary of State.
What you can do to help
Please share this shocking news with your friends and encourage them to sign up on our supporter list. Your support means a lot to us. We will keep you informed about facts, actions, demonstrations.
And remember: we are fighting to be able to pass on a sustainable Sussex, rich in natural and cultural resources, to future generations.
To resolve the tailbacks at Arundel, it is completely unnecessary to wreak the devastation of Option 5A.
Highways England have been diverted from the course of a more affordable, sustainable and responsible solution, a lower-impact version of Option 1: we can get them back on track.
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ABNC has been campaigning since the 1980s to protect Binsted’s landscape.