During a visit to local traffic hot spots along the A27 today, Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, will emphasise the urgent need to develop real sustainable alternatives to Highways England transport strategy .
- Taylor is urging local councils to oppose new bypass plans for Chichester and Arundel to prevent damage to local environment and increased air pollution
- The challenge is to develop multi-modal transport strategy that includes sustainable public transport alternatives
Last year, the UK Government announced a £15bn road building programme for the UK. Among its targets in the South East of England is the A27, for which an investment of £350m has been set aside in order to increase traffic speed and avoid bottlenecks in Lewes, Worthing, Arundel and Chichester.
With the first Highways England public consultation in Chichester due to start in March , local campaigners along the A27 have come together to oppose plans for new bypass options as part of the road building strategy. During his visit to sites in Arundel and Chichester on Tuesday 9th February, Mr Taylor will highlight the lack of sustainable public transport alternatives in the strategy.
It is estimated that around 55,000 deaths a year are attributable to air pollution, mainly coming from transport . The current plans to turn the A27 into an expressway along the South Coast not only endanger the local environment in Britain’s youngest National Park, but also pose a serious threat to people’s health.
Mr Taylor said:
“The Government's road building programme needs to be scrutinised and the money re-directed towards sustainable public transport alternatives. Over recent years local bus services have experienced savage cuts, and the cost of train travel continues to soar, with UK train tickets the most costly in Europe. The money spent on road building should be used to support public transport schemes.”
“If the Government is to stay true to its recent climate change commitments made in Paris, it needs to develop a sustainable transport strategy that reduces traffic on the roads. 70% of our air pollution is due to cars and lorries. We need to significantly reduce our road traffic to combat climate change.”
“I stand with the A27 campaign groups, calling for the development of responsible transport strategies that prioritise our environment, our climate and our health.”
 Keith Taylor is visiting the proposed new bypass sites in Arundel and Chichester on Tuesday 9th February.