LETTER: Making the wrong choice?
Ms Lovegrove (letters, May 24) misunderstands the issues around the Arundel bypass.
The Government has decided a bypass will be built: the issue about which the public was recently consulted was which of three possible routes should be used.
All three routes would solve the problem of traffic congestion at Arundel.
The residents of Binsted, and many others, are unhappy because Highways England has chosen, as its preferred route, the option which does most harm to the landscape and its inhabitants.
It could have chosen an option that broadly follows the line of the present road and therefore does much less damage to the landscape.
Another cause of unhappiness with Highways England’s choice is that there were significant errors and omissions in the information it gave the public in the consultation brochure it published last year. Highways England has accepted, in a letter to me, that ‘there were some minor errors and omissions in the consultation materials’. They include:
1. Omitting to say that the road would run on an embankment some 25 feet high from Crossbush, across the Arun valley, through Tortington and then across Binsted Park.
2. Failing to say the road would run across Binsted Park.
3. Underestimating the area of ancient woodland that would be destroyed by the road.
4. Using a traffic model that produces implausible results for the effect of a bypass on traffic on minor roads, and publishing these implausible results.
These errors and omissions do not look minor to me.
The choice of route may now be thrown open by the decision of the South Downs National Park Authority to seek a judicial review of Highways England’s decision. It is incredible that a government agency should have become so alienated from the local authority for the area ln which they want to build that the local authority thinks it necessary to go to law. It adds to the impression that there is something wrong with Highways England’s choice at Arundel.
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