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Road expansion doesn't work in Wales and it doesn't work in Sussex either © Carl Spenser/Flickr

The First Minister for Wales has cancelled the M4 bypass around Newport – an outbreak of good sense that we hope will spread to South East England, writes Henri Brocklebank on the Sussex Wildlife Trust website.

Help us protect National Parks and ancient woodland from new roads Photo © Campaign for Better Transport

In May, Highways England, the Government’s road building company, announced its preferred route for the A27 Arundel Bypass. All three options included in the public consultation were highly damaging but the one it chose was perhaps the worst. (No option avoided harming the National Park or ancient woodland or gave people a choice to reduce car use)

View of A27 from Mount Caburn View of A27 from Mount Caburn © SCATE

After recent confusion over plans for a new dual carriageway between Lewes and Polegate announced by local MPs Maria Caulfield and Stephen Lloyd, South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment (SCATE), the Folkington Estate and RH & RW Clutton presented to a ‘full house’ at Selmeston Village Hall on June 12th to talk about what is being proposed.

A27 Chichester study criticised: lacks sustainable transport measures © David Howard

A recent ‘Build a Better A27’ report by transport consultants Systra, has been criticised by concerned community and environmental groups for a lack of sustainable transport solutions. As a result of several workshops over the last year led by West Sussex County Council, and from public engagement exercises, Systra have put forward two possible options for improving the A27 at Chichester.

2017 'Save Binstead' demonstration 2017 'Save Binstead' demonstration Image courtesy Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee

A crowdfunding campaign is being launched this week to raise funds for a second legal challenge to Highways England, over their plan to put a dual carriageway through Arundel’s watermeadows and the South Downs National Park.

A27 Arundel bypass: Damaging preferred route announced Highways England

Following public consultation last year, Highways England have announced the preferred A27 Arundel bypass route. From three possible options, a modified version of Option 5A has been chosen, and consists of a 4-mile dual carriageway between Crossbush junction and a new junction between Binstead Lane and Yapton Lane.

Last week (16 Oct 2017) nine national transport and conservation organisations including CPRE, with a combined supporter base of over three million, wrote a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, about the devastating impact of the A27 Arundel bypass proposals.

We submitted our response to the Arundel Bypass consultation, outlining our concerns that the options presented, particularly options 3 and 5a, would damage the existing character of the surrounding landscape, including the South Downs National Park and its special qualities, mature woodland (most of which is ancient semi-natural woodland), the Arun floodplain, tranquillity and dark night skies, which are highly valued and irreplaceable. The iconic view of Arundel and Arundel Castle would be heavily impacted. This some of the best Sussex has to offer in terms of beauty and heritage – our national treasures.

CPRE Sussex has submitted its response to the consultation on road improvements for the Worthing/Lancing stretch of the A27 (11th September.)  We highlighted the fact that the CPRE 'The End of the Road' Report 2017 reveals that road-building is failing to provide the congestion relief and economic boost promised, while devastating the environment. It directly challenges government claims that ‘the economic gains from road investment are beyond doubt’; that road-building will lead to ‘mile a minute’ journeys; and that the impact on the environment will be limited ‘as far as possible’. The report shows how road building over the past two decades has repeatedly failed to live up to similar aims. We therefore believe that any investment in the existing road needs to be part of a wider package of investment to reduce the use of motorised vehicles on our roads including smart planning for growth and investment in infrastructure for walking, cycling and use of public transport.

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