Press release on A 27 Arundel Bypass preferred route Option 5a
Walberton Parish Council notes that Option 5a is the option being put forward. This option does not conform with our parish’s Neighbourhood Plan which supports a bypass but only “the route that causes the least damage to the countryside to the north of Binsted village within the Parish’s boundary”,
It doesn’t seem to matter which body it is - Southern Railway, the Home Office, Highways England - irrational and hostile decisions keep being made by rational people. Once again, a dysfunctional process produces a dysfunctional result.
In our opinion there was a clear bias towards Option 5a during the consultation process with the other 2 options being dismissed by Highways England staff as unachievable from the outset.
Walberton Parish and its residents will be among the most significantly affected people area by Option 5a, yet we were not invited to preliminary meetings with Highways England, Arun District Council, West Sussex County Council and Arundel Town Council before the consultation process began, we have to wonder why.
Indeed Highways England’s letter, received today, gives the public the opportunity of collecting copies of the Preferred Route Announcement brochure from various locations – but none in our parish.
Option 5a is not only the least sustainable choice it is also the most expensive option once the relevant and realistic factors are properly taken into account, while being no better than other Options at easing the traffic bottleneck at Arundel. It is quite irrational.
Walberton Parish Council has been challenging many elements of the consultation without satisfactory answers.
Option 5a is set to put more extra vehicles on our local roads than on the A27 itself, quite incredibly.
It comes about because Highways England used duff data and faulty information in the consultation process and now cannot go back. For instance, their traffic predictions for Yapton Lane (B2132) are seriously flawed, significantly in conflict with the empirical evidence from Network Rail’s report into the number of vehicles using Yapton Lane Level Crossing. Any model needs to also take into account the proposed new traffic lights at the Fontwell A 27 and A 29 junction and the new full Level Crossing barrier at Yapton Lane. The remit is supposedly to improve traffic flow on the A 27 and surrounding roads; Option 5a totally fails in providing this benefit to the A 27and our local routes.
On top of that, they said they didn’t have the money to build this Option. We will need to go into the detail to see what corners they propose to cut, or how else they have fixed their finances. We know they can fix things, because they fixed the consultation.
We consider this Option to be simply unacceptable and unachievable without a large financial, environmental and social cost and we urge the Secretary of State to look in detail at the glaring inaccuracies and complications associated with Option 5A before an enormous amount of money is wasted on this folly.
Walberton Parish Council
11th May 2018