Second council to call on South Downs to drop challenge to Arundel A27 bypass

Paul Marshall is asking HDC to call on the South Downs National Park to drop its challenge to an Arundel bypass
Paul Marshall is asking HDC to call on the South Downs National Park to drop its challenge to an Arundel bypass

A second district council is set to call on the South Downs National Park to drop a legal challenge to a new A27 Arundel bypass.

Back in May Highways England revealed a tweaked version of 5a was the option it had chosen after months of consultation.

The route has divided opinion as many have welcomed the £250m investment but others have opposed the proposed scheme due to its environmental impact.

The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) is pressing for a judicial review of Highways England’s decision.

Back in July Arun district councillors voted unanimously to call on the SDNPA to stop pursuing a High Court challenge and instead work constructively with other local authorities to deliver environmental quality and traffic flow improvements.

Horsham District Council could agree to a similar course of action if a notice of motion, put forward by Conservative councillor Paul Marshall, is approved tomorrow (Wednesday September 5).

He is seeking the support of HDC to object to the national park’s actions, which he says completely ignores the traffic volume and environmental impact that residents have had to put up with in the south of the Horsham district, which is also part of the South Downs.

Supporters of a bypass at Arundel have argued that it would reduce traffic using the A283 to avoid congestion.

Mr Marshall said: “Residents who live in the vicinity of A283 particularly the villages of Steyning, Wiston, Washington, Storrington, Amberley and Pulborough have had to put up with this traffic in both directions as a consequence.

“Storrington, along with Cowfold, are two villages designated as Air Quality Management Areas, (AQMA). Storrington is a direct consequence of the diversionary traffic. This village has circa 20,000 average vehicle movements daily with high recorded pollutants registered. Two areas, Manleys Hill and West Street have significant pollutant levels recorded well above legal recommendations.

“It is no longer acceptable for residents to put up with the consequences. Residents have participated in the consultation process undertaken by Highways England extensively. The SDNP have not consulted residents in the SDNP or neighbouring villages about their decision to oppose the preferred improvement routes which will be a major relief road for the SDNP.

“I am asking this council to formally write to the chair of SDNP objecting to its actions and expressing disappointment about their decision in challenging Highways England. This has a disregard to those residents who have to suffer the environmental impact in the south of the district.”

The SDNPA has been approached for comment.