“Arundel Town Council welcomes the announcement of Highways England’s plan to build a by-pass around Arundel. For over 40 years the A-27 has run straight through the town, dividing our community into two halves. With the growth of traffic, Arundel has become a bottle-neck, with 21,000 journeys made each day on the single lane section of the A-27 that bisects the town.
The result is long delays that encourage drivers to try and take a short cut, ‘rat-running’ down Arundel’s historic High Street which was never designed for through traffic. Arundel is recognised to be the gateway for visitors to both the South Downs National Park and the entire Arun Valley, and visitors are deterred by both traffic and the difficulty of driving to the town down the A27.
This is not just a local issue either. The A-27 is the major east-west road along the south coast of England, so the travelling time and unreliability of travel on this road through Arundel has a measurable economic cost.
Arundel Town Council has been asking for a bypass for many years. In 2019 we made detailed submissions to Highways England, and many residents participated in the consultation. Most people who took part in the consultation believed that Highways England needed to increase traffic capacity and safety on this road. We are pleased that Highways England also recognised the need to protect the special qualities of the historic town of Arundel and its wonderful environment. We can understand why the grey route has been chosen because it has a number of significant advantages. It avoids the South Downs National Park and ancient woodland. It increases safety considerably and improves journey times more than the alternatives considered. Consequently whilst this route will cost more to build it will produce a higher payback.
Having experienced the A27 bisecting our heritage town for decades, we will be asking that every step be taken to mitigate any adverse effects on those close to the chosen route.
We recognise that some people will argue that we do not need any new road schemes. But there is nothing environmentally friendly about the pollution caused by the current congestion on the A27. We entirely support transport strategies which address the need to tackle the climate emergency but electric cars and public transport still need roads to drive on”.
Cllr. Tony Hunt
Mayor of Arundel