Yes the Binsted Woods complex is under threat again.
A nasty road scheme has returned to threaten massive destruction in the last remaining block of ancient woodland on the coastal plain of Southern England.
The plan, part of a massive upgrade to the trunk road along the south coast is just one of a number of schemes announced in 2014 (1) . Although the Chichester one was initially cancelled due to the local community rejecting it in a consultation organised by Highways England, the County Council are presently touring the Parish councils to drum up support for a modified scheme to be introduced.
At Worthing their consultation is due to finish 12 September and for Arundel it will continue until 16 October (2) .
We fail to understand how anyone could support the wanton destruction that would occur in Binsted woods, or any of the Arundel A27 options Highways England (HE) has put forward. Clearly their only purpose is to create even more road space for through traffic to fill again.
The Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee (3) has eloquently put forward the clear case for rejecting option 5A, however we think there is a compelling case to reject the remainder.
Like option 5A, option 3 (Through Binsted Woods (Tortington Common) is also a dual 2 lane carriageway designed to 100kph standard. It also requires two new over-bridges at the River Arun and Arun Valley Railway. These alien structures crossing the Arun Valley will not only be a blot on a cherished landscape, they will scar the priceless setting of historic Arundel.
Option 3 then deviates from 5A to bulldoze a 250 metre wide gouge through the irreplaceable ancient woodland complex. This option then requires four new under-bridges (Bridges in an ancient wood!) at Old Scotland Lane, Binsted Lane, Tortington Lane and Ford Road to complete the destruction of this tranquil corner of English countryside, before rejoining the A27 near Havenwood Park.
Option 1 and the last option given by HE, is also a new offline two lane dual carriageway from the Crossbush Junction. In this case it will join the existing Arundel Bypass east of the Ford road roundabout. It too requires new over-bridges at the railway and River Arun, again clearly both alien structures in a historic landscape.
From the Ford Road Roundabout the single 2 lane A27 Hospital Hill will be dualled and join the existing dualled road west of The White Swan.
Just like Chichester and Worthing – Lancing, the Arundel scheme is about one thing and that of course is through traffic. By spending vast sums on these grandiose pollution creating schemes there is no money is left to repair existing roads, spent on public transport or cycling.
If we really want to move people and goods around more reliably and efficiently, those who can use other modes than the car must be encouraged to do so by providing an alternative and thus freeing up road space for those who must drive.
Please reject all the options. If you don’t like filling in forms a short e-mail to: A27ArundelBypass@highwaysengland.co.uk will do.