The prime purpose of this Newsletter is to start to address to question of which route Option for the Arundel Bypass out of Nos. 1, 3 and 5A seems to be the best. It will therefore concentrate of the pros and cons of Option 1 – which we think is the worst of the three, and which should be rejected.
This Option which, according to Highways England was suggested by West Sussex County Council, will involve the building of a new dual-carriageway road from Crossbush to the bridge by the Ford Roundabout, a new single-carriageway bridge over the river alongside the existing bridge, and the conversion of the single-carriageway Hospital Hill into a new dual-carriageway road until it meets the existing dual-carriageway just to the west of The Swan Hotel.
There are a number of facts which suggest at first sight that Option 1 should be given serious consideration. They are:
- It is the cheapest Option - £135m
- It is the shortest route
- It gives the best value for money (Benefit to Cost Ratio) – 3.6
- It has the least adverse impact on the South Downs National Park
- It would result of the loss of the least amount of Ancient Woodland – 5 hectares
On the other hand there are a number of disadvantages, these include:
- This Option would continue to divide the town at the Ford Road Roundabout. Indeed it does not meet the specific and important scheme objective of reducing the community severance caused by the A27 through Arundel
- The Ford Road Roundabout would be controlled by traffic lights, so ensuring stop-start traffic The volume of traffic using the Ford Roundabout would increase by 62% (from 28,600 to 46,200 vpd)
- Noise levels and pollution in the vicinity of the Ford Road Roundabout would increase
- From the traffic point of view this is the worst performing of the three Options
- This Option diverts the least amount of traffic from rat-running in the SDNP (only 19%)
- This Option fails to take account of the physical limitations of Hospital Hill, with its poor alignment and visibility and steep gradients - as highlighted in the 1993 Preferred Route Statement
- This Option does not take into account the projected increase in traffic on Ford Road as a result of ADC’s proposal for major housing development at Ford
- This Option would have a major detrimental impact on those living close to the Ford Road Roundabout and Hospital Hill, especially in Fitzalan Road, Wheelwrights Close, the west end of Maltravers Street, Surrey Street, lower Torton Hill, Canada Road and Jarvis Road. It would also impact badly on the Riding Stables in Park Place, which might be forced to close
- This Option would exacerbate the flood risk to properties in the vicinity of the Ford Road Roundabout. This is already the area at greatest surface water flood risk in Arundel, and the new bridge and its connection to the roundabout would need to be built directly over the course of Spring Ditch, which is one of the most important flood-related watercourses in the vicinity of the town
- This Option fails to acknowledge the poor state of the existing A27 bridge over the River Arun, which itself may need major renovation or replacement, or the fact that the sheet steel piling (SSP) on the river wall under the west side of the bridge is already in a poor state (EA Grade 4) and will need to be replaced within 10 to 20 years
- With this Option, there are likely to be major problems on the Hospital Hill section of the dual carriageway for vehicles and pedestrians wishing to access and exit Jarvis Road, Park Farm, Arundel Cricket Club, The Swan Hotel and, especially, Arundel Hospital. Walking to and from the Hospital may well become a matter of life and death.This brings the prospect of additional accidents as well as reduced road safety
- The proposed aerial footbridge over the Ford Road Roundabout would be hideously intrusive and impact very badly on the visual entrance into and the historic setting of Arundel. Also, because of the extended spiral access at each end it is unlikely to be heavily used and will therefore not achieve its aim.
- It seems that the well used bridge underpass may be closed.
- During the necessarily expended construction period there would be a lengthy and large increase in traffic disruption, which would bring its own additional noise and air pollution
- In the event of this new road being blocked by either an accident or the need for maintenance, there would be no practical local diversion available other than through the narrow town centre
In summary, although Option 1 may be the cheapest option and have some superficially attractive advantages, in practice it is likely to the very worst option, especially as it would involve more than 46,000 vpd using the Ford Road Roundabout compared with only some 28,000 vpd now (which is quite bad enough). Also, it is the worst option for alleviating the traffic which rat-runs north through the SDNP to avoid Arundel’s congestion.
OneArundel therefore recommends that Option 1 should be rejected as unsuitable, and that your completed Questionnaires should say this very strongly. It is a very bad idea, and we do not want the A27 to continue to run through the town.
The next edition of this Newsletter will address the question of which of Option 3 and Option 5A is best for Arundel, so you might like to consider delaying the submission of your completed Questionnaire to Highways England until you have read it. This is especially because, at first sight, the changes that have occurred since Option 3 (pink/blue) was adopted as the Preferred Route by the Government in 1993 seem to suggest that it it is unlikely to be the best. However, if anyone has any queries, then please do not hesitate to let us know – we will try our very best to answer them as soon as possible.
For those of you who live in Arundel, herewith a date for your diary. On Monday 25 September at 7.00pm Arundel Town Council has organised a Parish Meeting in St Nicholas Church for residents to have their say and ask questions about the bypass proposals. It is clear even now that the noisy minority of anti-bypass campaigners will seek to dominate the meeting. So please do what you can to keep that date free and attend the meeting, thereby ensuring that the Town Council is well aware of the majority view in support of the bypass.
Finally, many thanks for the very generous donations that we have received, however a few more would be very welcome in order to cover the costs that we have already incurred as well as the campaign activities planned between now and mid-October. You will note that all the website’s pages now have a facility for you to do this either via PayPal or directly to our Post Office bank account. A donation of any size would be very much appreciated.
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