Guest blog: The Argus article by Josh Walton, 14th May 2018
Environmental campaigners slam 'damaging' bypass plans
CAMPAIGNERS have raised concerns about the “enormous damage” a new bypass could have on wildlife and the environment.
Highways England has announced that it has chosen its Option 5A route for the new A27 Arundel bypass, which would be built between the Crossbush junction and a new junction between Binsted Lane and Yapton Lane.
The £250 million scheme, which includes a four-mile stretch of dual carriageway, is a modified version of the plan originally intended for the road.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England director Kia Trainor said: “This decision does not fully take into account the enormous damage to irreplaceable habitats including ancient woodland which this new road would create.
“We are very concerned that the countryside is being sacrificed in order to move a traffic jam further along the A27.
“What we need is a more strategic approach to transport infrastructure.
“We see a role for the new South East Regional Transport Body in helping put together an integrated approach to mobility instead of constantly building bypasses.”
The campaign group says the bypass, which is routed through ancient woodland and the South Downs National Park, would create two new bottlenecks at either end of the new dual carriageway.
Henri Brocklebank, director of conservation at the Sussex Wildlife Trust, said: “Short sightedness and an obsessive belief that we must build our way out of congestion is going to mean irreparable damage to some of our most valuable wildlife.
“The Sussex Wildlife Trust is appalled to hear that such an environmentally damaging decision has been made by a Government department that represents the national ambition of ‘global leadership in protecting the natural environment’.”
Highways England said the scheme would respect the environment.
Another consultation period is expected next year.