Pupils from Arundel schools visited Arundel Town Hall on 1 October to present a petition to District and County Councillors in support of a safe Arundel to Ford pathway.
The children – from Arundel Church of England Primary School and St. Philip’s Catholic Primary School – arrived with colourful posters illustrating the need for a safe pathway for both cyclists and pedestrians. They showed great confidence in explaining the need for the pathway, and handed over boxes containing more than 1,600 signatures to Cllr. Shaun Gunner, Leader of Arun District Council and Cllr. Joy Dennis, Cabinet Member for Highways at West Sussex County Council.
Accepting the petition from the children Cllr. Shaun Gunner said:
“As a cyclist who does not drive a car, I personally support a safe pathway between Arundel and Ford.”
Cllr. Joy Dennis added:
“I fully recognise the safety issues and accept that the pathway is one of the top priorities for the County Council.”
Tony Hunt, Mayor of Arundel, Carolyn Baynes, Town Clerk, and Andrew Griffith, MP for Arundel & South Downs, also attended the meeting in Arundel Town Hall.
Mayor Tony Hunt said:
“I congratulate the children on their excellent artwork and the clear way in which they explain the need for the safe pathway. I would like to thank headteachers Lucy Horne (St. Philip’s) and Andrew Simpson (ACE) for the way in which they have encouraged the children’s involvement; it is an enormous strength to the community to have two primary schools which are so engaged with local issues.”
“I would also like to thank Andrew Griffith, Shaun Gunner and Joy Dennis for meeting with the children to address the need for such a vital scheme. Many of Arundel’s young people travel to secondary school via Ford Station. The choice lies between cycling and parents driving them to the station which – as the children have explained – are the kind of journeys that we all need to reduce in the interests of climate change.”
Andrew Griffith was one of 56 community leaders who had signed the original letter of support for the project following the publication of the Town Council’s report ‘Arundel to Ford Station Cycle and Walking Route-Making Cycling and Walking Safer’ in February 2021. He commented:
“It is ultimately for the benefit of Arundel children that we all want to see the Arundel to Ford route made safer”.