Letter: We need a proper bypass

Phyllis Kirk in her letter last week (WSG February 29) insists that Arundel already has a bypass. She obviously doesn’t agree with Mrs Joan Brown’s letter in the WSG February 22, in which Mrs Brown correctly points out that the existing road cannot be called a bypass. Richard Foster, from Angmering, in his letter in the WSG February 8 also believes that Arundel already has a bypass and hence doesn’t need another one.

My understanding is, and I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, that the road in question was actually built as a ‘Relief Road’ providing a reasonably quick solution  to relieve Arundel Town from the increasing number of vehicles, which were then having to pass through the town, threatening to damage the ancient buildings within the town, as well as becoming an  increasing safety hazard to pedestrians. This solution of building the Relief Road however was to be a temporary one until such times that a “proper” bypass could be provided in the future .

The fact is, the road, call it what you like, Relief or Bypass, is no longer able to cope with the congestion due to the massive increase in both volume and size of vehicles  that exist now. The other problem, as Mrs Brown points out, is that this road splits Arundel in half.

John Boxall in his excellent reply to Mr Foster, headed, “Something needs to be done about Arundel’s appalling congestion “ (WSG February 22), more than adequately explains why the existing road is no longer fit for purpose and a “proper” bypass, to continue on from the pointless dead end at Crossbush, is urgently required. The sheer amount of money that has been, and even now is being thrown at the A27, between Crossbush and the Ford Road roundabout, in order to try and deal with today’s traffic, is proof that it is unable to handle it. How much longer will the railway bridge, that was never meant to endure this weight and volume of continuous traffic, be able to continue in its present state and how much more ‘wasted’ money will have to be spent in the short term to support it and the road  in the future?

Mr Foster believes that the road  “worked very well for twenty years until the four miles between Patching and Crossbush was turned into a ‘motorway’, grinding to a halt at the Crossbush traffic lights.” Don’t motorways have three to four lanes or more each side and aren’t they prefixed ‘M’? That apart, what Mr Foster seems to forget, or doesn’t mention, is that during those 20 years the volume of traffic and size of vehicles passing through Crossbush had also increased enormously and was having a detrimental effect on the houses running alongside the road, with those exceedingly close experiencing constant noise and vibration and being covered with muck and grime and dust thrown at them by the relentless passing traffic. The road was also very narrow in parts and the new dual carriageway helped solve all of those problems. The dead end created at the traffic lights at Crossbush, like the Relief Road, was only meant to be temporary until the “proper” bypass was completed, which it nearly was once, but then as we know, the rest is history.

Since the Crossbush bypass was built, yet again traffic volumes and HGV sizes have both increased considerably and there’s nothing to suggest that this won’t continue over the years to come, making the case again for a “proper” Arundel bypass even more relevant. For years, the residents along and off the Ford Road have, understandably,  been asking for a ban on HGV’s along there and the bypass would help to solve their problem too. Mr Foster’s suggested solution of flyovers or underpasses for the Lyminster Road and road widening, just will not solve the problem of the regular gridlock along the Relief Road between Crossbush and the dual carriageway on the  Chichester road. Throwing yet more money at short term and cosmetic fixes just won’t work.

Mr Foster says many people do not want any more countryside being wrecked in the name of road building yet he didn’t mention the countryside being wrecked  by the new housing estates that are springing up everywhere – even in Angmering, where incidentally, they  have a much appreciated bypass. Greenfield sites are being swallowed up for housing. Road building at least, once completed, can with the help of good landscaping, become a haven again for much of the wildlife that has been initially disturbed by the construction.

I’m afraid though that we have to acknowledge both road and house building will increase as central governments demand more. Like it nor not we have to move on and live with that, as it appears that we will also have to live with giant wind turbines both on land and sea . They too can be a “blot on the landscape” and “wreck it” in the eyes of some, but I don’t hear “green credentials” decrying them.

It is time we stopped burying our heads, accepted the reality of what is required and got on with the job of building a “proper” Arundel Bypass.

However, I do think that Mr Foster and Phyllis Kirk, and others who oppose the idea, can relax, as in the current economic climate, along with what appears to be,  a total lack of support and commitment from any government, sadly, it is unlikely that Arundel will get a “proper” bypass soon, if ever.

Colin Stepney

The Causeway