Arundel A27 Bypass – Latest Updates
The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) commence proceedings for a judicial review to challenge Highways England’s decision to select a modified version of Option 5A as the preferred route for the A27 Arundel Scheme.
The South Downs National Park Authority met on 24 May and decided to challenge Highways England’s decision by Judicial Review, after hearing widespread support for a challenge from the National Park community.
Route 5A (amended) would pass through the South Downs National Park, including an ancient woodland at Binsted. Highways England’s own environmental experts state that this route will cause ‘significant damage’ to the National Park’s landscapes.
Margaret Paren, Chair of the South Downs National Park Authority, said:
“We are not commencing proceedings for a judicial review lightly but we believe that Highways England have not followed the correct procedure, which was to set out, to the same level of detail, all of the options inside and outside the National Park. This led to them discounting options outside of the National Park too early in the process, and they have not provided any detail on mitigation and compensation for any of the routes.
“We want to work with Highways England so that they can find a solution to the traffic issues at Arundel that also protects the National Park for future generations, including having discussions around mitigation and compensation measures.”
Paragraph 5.151 of the National Policy Statement on National Networks states that planning permission should be refused for major developments in National Parks except in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated they are in the public interest. Consideration of these applications should include an assessment of the cost of, and scope for, developing elsewhere outside the National Park; and opportunities to moderate any detrimental effect on the environment, the landscape and recreational opportunities. The SDNPA do not believe that the Planning Inspector would be satisfied that Highways England have met these considerations.
Comment from the Campaign for National Parks:
“Arundel and the South Downs National Park deserve better” https://www.cnp.org.uk/blog/arundel-and-south-downs-national-park-deserve-better
Crowdfunding for a second private claim for Judicial Review of Highways England’s decision for Option 5A, complementing the National Park’s claim has reached over £11,000.
The legal application is that Highways England’s many errors and omissions in their 2017 public consultation, which mostly favoured Option 5A, made the consultation unlawful. The public did not have accurate enough information to make an informed decision. District and County decisions to support 5A were based on this faulty information.
The case being taken up by Emma Tristram.
Highways England announce their Preferred Route
Highways England have announced their selection of a slightly modified version of option 5A as their preferred route for the A27 Arundel Bypass. The modification makes little difference, though it brings the dual carriageway closer to people in Tortington.
This is disappointing if not unsurprising, though there was some thought that HE may go for option 1 as it was better value for money and less damaging environmentally (though not acceptable as a design in any way).
We are working with other groups and organisations to challenge this decision.
Arundel A27 Forum will continue to promote the alternative New Single Purple Route as a better option for the whole of Sussex addressing those particular issues which affect Arundel.
To see 12 slides on the alternative Arundel New Single Purple Route, with Ford roundabout proposal click HERE.
Comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The single ‘New Purple’ bypass
This is based on a Highways Agency (now HE) route option recommended for inclusion in consultation in 2006. It is brought up to date with current transport thinking.
This new option would improve A27 traffic flow significantly. It addresses safety and pollution issues, minimises impact on the Arun Valley landscape and enables easy access to Arundel and the nearby villages. Visit the Problems and Solutions page to see the issues behind this proposal and its benefits.
There are additional measures suggested to improve local links connecting the town for walking and cycling and better access to public transport, including road and rail. This would help reduce peak time road congestion.
A key factor is the route is a two lane road with five metre wide lanes, rather than four lanes.
This extra lane width improves visibility and safety and allows continued access in the event of a traffic incident while minimising induced traffic. A speed limit of 40mph optimises flow and capacity and reduces pollution over the relatively short stretch of single carriageway.
- The junction at Crossbush would be fully developed as a raised, standard, two level junction, as originally planned, eliminating the need for traffic lights. Traffic can leave or join the A27 at this junction via left hand lane slip roads, providing access to Arundel (and Crossbush) and Littlehampton (and Lyminster).
- The A27 continues under the Crossbush roundabout as a wide single carriageway road (two, five metre lanes) road at 40mph, to a new bridge over the railway line. There are extra lanes only where slip roads are required for the Crossbush junction access.
- The new road joins the present relief road just before the junction with Fitzalan Road (south side) and progresses to the bridge over the river Arun and to a remodelled, at level, Ford Road roundabout. The wide lanes can be continued across the existing (or rebuilt) bridge and new, separated, pedestrian and cycle crossings added to the outside of the bridge structure. Either pedestrian crossing can be accessed via existing underpasses on both sides of the river.
- A remodelled Ford roundabout would be the only pinch point, but as a two (or more) lane roundabout, similar to other roundabouts along the length of the A27. Additionally, a radical redesign of the roundabout area has also been proposed providing an uninterrupted A27 route, with direct access between Ford Road and Maltravers Street, returning some road space to green space. Click here to view.
- Chichester Road (Hospital Hill) has scope for widening to maintain a five metre lane width to the dualled section beyond the White Swan without impacting on woodland to any significant extent or on gardens. Lane provision to turn into the hospital would be provided to avoid hold ups and ensure safety.
- Car access is not retained on the old relief road, which would otherwise generate another pinch point. The old road can provide a separate cycle and walking route to the Causeway and Arundel station from the river crossing.
The Highways England discussions with stakeholders maintained that ‘sustainable transport’ elements, will be included. These would normally include measures to improve walking, cycling and public transport and travel planning support, but as the public consultation appear to include only a few, very limited cycle routes.
This single ‘New Purple’ proposal includes local walking and cycling routes and public transport, information, guidance and smart technology features.
Walking and cycling
Facilities avoiding the A27 and reducing ‘severance’ (division of the town by the road), involve:
- Ford Road crossing and improved path under the A27 river bridge, providing continuous access from Ford Road and Torton Hill to the High Street.
- A pedestrian/cycle bridge from the bottom of Canada Road over Chichester Road to the Waterwoods, crossing from the A284 London Road and joining up to Mount Pleasant, to provide a safe, more direct route to schools, cathedral and surgery.
The new Ford roundabout remodelling (available to view in the presentation at the top of this page) would provide full walking and cycling access across the A27.
Public transport access
- Improved access to Ford station with an off-road path for walking and cycling from Arundel, along with improved parking facilities at the station. This will enable increased coastal rail commuting and student travel.
- Upgraded coastal rail and bus infrastructure, including longer trains and platforms, increased frequencies.
- A fast A27 bus route with parking for bus stop locations to enable village access to services. Improved information, to improve commuter choice. Commuting is the major journey type during peak time traffic.
- Tailored support for business travel planning measures, particularly for larger organisations like hospitals and educational institutions to reduce commuter traffic. Examples of measures include flexible working, peak fare discounts, rotational parking, car sharing, independent buses, active travel for health programmes and personalised travel information.
Support, ideas and questions are invited on the single ‘New Purple’ route concept and associated transport measures.