'Serious concerns' over A29 realignment plans

Proposed A29 realignment
Proposed A29 realignment

Serious concerns about the timing and funding of a potential A29 realignment have been raised this week.

West Sussex County Council is looking to build a new 4.3km stretch of road to the east of Eastergate, Westergate and Woodgate. The county council said the scheme is an 'important part of our vision for Arun', as outlined in the West Sussex Transport Plan.

According to the Arun-based group of the Campaign to Protect Rural England's (CPRE) Sussex branch, there will be 'years of chaos', increased congestion and air pollution, if plans go ahead.

Michael Warden, CPRE Arun group chairman, said: "Countryside charity CPRE recognises that the principle of an A29 bypass, together with strategic housing allocation, have been approved through Arun District Council’s Local Plan.

"However, it has significant concerns about the timing and funding of the road and its impact on health and the natural environment."

CPRE Arun believes that the new road and infrastructure for walking and cycling should be constructed ahead of the planned housing, 'so that disruption on the existing road network is minimized'.

Mr Warden added: “If the road only goes in after the housing, then there will be years of chaos while house building is progressing.

"I expect that we will end up with some compromise on planned phased development, but the problem is that there could be no effective infrastructure until the housing is in place post 2032.”

The charity is also concerned about the impact of the scheme on health and the environment.

After attending a presentation at Barnham Community Hall, Michael said he was 'absolutely astounded' by some of the statements displayed.

Responding to one which claimed that air quality would be improved, Michael said: "I very much beg to differ, as all existing traffic, together with extra traffic from the major housing developments, will significantly add to the degradation of air quality.

"The occupants of the new developments will be greatly affected as will the residents of Shripney and possibly Flansham.” Read more on the CPRE Sussex website.

The consultation period ended on Friday (April 26).

To view the proposals and estimated timescale, visit the county council’s website.

See also: Request to withdraw decision on A29 realignment scheme ‘ignored’