Tap to hear more about the scheme as residents in villages worry about the dual-carriageway's impact
It will cost over up to £380 million and is designed to reduce congestion on one of the South’s biggest road bottlenecks - today Highways England confirmed its chosen route for a bypass to the A27 in Arundel.
The new 8km dual carriageway, which was one of six options put forward to the public, will sit south of the A27 avoiding the South Downs National Park.
It’s the most expensive of the proposals and authorities admit it's above the initial £250 million budget to finance it.
Since the scheme was first talked about there’s been fierce opposition from environmental campaigners, conservationists and people who live in villages along the proposed route.
Jean Norton secretary of South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment, said
"This announcement flies in the face of all the evidence about what we need to do to tackle climate change and loss of wildlife. Highways England seem to be on a different planet, ignoring the warnings of Sir David Attenborough and others that we need to do things differently.
"Building bigger roads just increases traffic and carbon emissions. In this case it will also destroy valuable wildlife habitats, local communities and the setting of the South Downs National Park.
"We don’t need a new, highly expensive, dual carriageway. Highways England is a road building company. Why are we letting it dictate our travel choices? We need better transport and money earmarked for the road would be better spent on access for everyone."
While two-thirds of people responding to the consultation agreed something needed to be done about traffic, the chosen route wasn’t the one supported by Arun District Council or West Sussex County Council who opted for a bypass north of Binsted.
That route saw huge opposition from the village's residents who said they would take the Government the court.
Highways England say they ‘recognise’ concerns insisting the chosen scheme ‘strikes the right balance’ between protecting the environmental and character of the area while dealing with the problems surrounding congestion.
How will the new dual-carriageway look?
Starting at Crossbush, the route will reconnect with the existing A27 in the west near the A27/A29 Fontwell (east) roundabout.
There will be:
A junction at Crossbush with access to and from the A27 in both directions
A new viaduct spanning the River Arun and a bridge over the Arun Valley Railway
A new bridge over Binsted Rife
A new junction with the existing A27 at Tye Lane to the north of Walberton (with the A27 continuing via an underpass) enabling westbound access onto the A27 and eastbound access from the A27
A closure on Tye Lane south of the new route
Delivering 'a scheme that has as little impact as possible on the special environment and local people'
Around 21,000 drivers use the existing A27 every day which is at 150% capacity ands has an above average collision rate,Highways England Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan said:
“The A27 is the only strategic east west route south of the M25. This new road removes the traffic from the centre of Arundel and provides faster more reliable journey times for users of this important road.
“We will continue to work with communities and local groups to further develop the project’s design, so we can deliver a scheme that has as little impact as possible on the special environment and local people in and around Arundel.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
Highways England will now develop a further design for the scheme which will need planning approval.