In a state of denial over the true history of the Arundel relief road

Mr Foster of Angmering, being one of the leading “No To The Arundel Bypass” campaigners, continues to be in a state of denial over the true history of the Arundel Relief Road, known to him and others, including map publishers, as “The Arundel Bypass.”

His letter, headed “Study is a waste of money “, (WSG October 3), continues his “Anti Another Arundel Bypass Campaign” in telling us again that Arundel already has a bypass, or should I say on behalf of some of The Causeway residents, Arundel already has a Humpty Dumpty, in line with Mr Foster’s opinion of us. Apologies to those who failed to read Mr Foster’s letter and of course to Lewis Carroll.

As I have pointed out at length in previous letters, and what Mr Foster still refuses to accept, and presumably always will, this section of the A27 at Arundel was, thanks to Bernard, Duke of Norfolk, built as, was only ever meant to be, until such times as a “proper” bypass was built, a Relief Road! I repeat a Relief Road.

However this is hardly the point now, the question now is, can this relief road, bypass, Humpty Dumpty, call it what you like, be considered “fit for purpose” today, in dealing with the enormous increase in both the volume of traffic and vehicle sizes there has been since 1971? For those that use, or try to use it, regularly, and see it as a serious and frustrating problem, particularly for business users, surely the answer is “Absolutely Not”! What is the solution therefore?

Mr Foster has the answer, or thinks he does. His solution, which he calls “simple”, “cheapest”, “easiest” and the most “environmentally friendly” involves building a flyover or underpass at Crossbush, strengthening the bridge over the railway and also the river bridge too, along with an “over the road walkway” and “a well - lit subway” too. Job done, problem solved, Humpty Dumpty remains intact.

The trouble with that solution is, it just will not work. You will still have two lanes of traffic from both sides of Arundel bottlenecking into one, negotiating two busy roundabouts and hence the inevitable tail backs and hold ups that go with that.

If the dead end road at the Crossbush junction continued, as it was always meant to do, there would be no need for a flyover or underpass because the existing road from Lyminster to Arundel would become one. To build a flyover (I’ve yet to see a landscaped one as Mr Foster suggests) or underpass, would mean spending an excessive amount of money for the comparatively small number of vehicles which use the Lyminster road, the vast majority continue along the A27 at this junction.

I’m not sure how many times the poor old railway bridge at Arundel has had to be repaired and strengthened since 1971 and how much money has been thrown at doing it but, with Mr Foster’s solution, this would have to continue on a regular basis and at a continuing and increasing, unnecessary cost.

This bridge was never expected to have to cope with the sheer weight and volumes it has travelling over it today. Certain repair work requires, for safety reasons, complete closure, as has happened in the past, and would again in the future, hence preventing all traffic using the road and sending motorists on very long detours, causing chaos on other roads. That wouldn’t need to happen with a bypass.

I’m trying to envisage too, a walkway over the road for Arundel station pedestrians, if it’s anything like the one at Tangmere, albeit smaller, the term “blot on the landscape” comes to mind, given the surrounding countryside, but perhaps aesthetics are not part of Mr Foster’s solution. It’s worth remembering too that Mr Foster is on record as being against the A27 improvements between Patching and Crossbush, in other words the Crossbush bypass, thinking that the road worked very well for twenty years until it, he called it a motorway, was built. Perhaps therefore one can conclude that Mr Foster is just plain anti bypasses and motorways wherever they are, with his solutions based on “anything but that” rather than “what is best”.

Bypasses, relief roads etc are meant to keep the traffic flowing, just like Mr Foster’s Angmering bypass. Was he against that I wonder? The reality with the stretch of the A27 at Arundel is that the traffic doesn’t flow. It is a major trunk road bedevilled by too many hold ups along it between Worthing and Chichester, a distance of less than 20 miles. This has to be unacceptable and part of that solution is an Arundel bypass that works and flows freely, becoming a proper and natural extension of the A27.

I welcome the study and sincerely hope that it results in some positive action that will solve a serious problem that has dragged on and worsened for far too many years.

With apologies again to Lewis Carroll : “The rule is, jam yesterday, jam today, but, perhaps with Humpty Dumpty’s help, never jam tomorrow.”

Something has to be done!

Colin Stepney

The Causeway