THEN transport minister Phillip Hammond brought our local infrastructure deficit into sharp focus when he advised in 2011 that, although there was no funding available for an Arundel bypass, if it was possible to get developer contributions the government would be more willing to look at doing something.
It was a cold dose of reality for our democratically-elected representatives, but did it make any difference to their attitude? Of course not! The A27 Arundel Bypass Wider Economic Impact Study by Parsons Brinkerhoff in March, 2013, said based on the extensive business survey undertaken in the area and initial analysis, the preliminary results indicated the following:
An additional £493m added to total West Sussex GVA of £15.257bn;
Employment impact: an additional annualised total of 12,600 jobs would be added throughout the seven districts in West Sussex;
Personal income tax receipts: across all seven districts, an annual total of £82m would accrue to government;
Reductions in jobseekers’ allowance: across all seven districts, government would gain approximately £38m from reductions in jobseekers’ allowance payments;
Increase in disposable income: the increases in employment will support additional disposable income being spent in the county. The preliminary estimate of this is £108m throughout all seven districts;
Attracting investment: the existence of the bypass will remove the current bottleneck on the A27 and will significantly improve the ‘attractiveness’ of the corridor in terms of attracting investment and inducing land development; and:
“Based on the conclusions from stage one of the project, we recommend proceeding with stage two, to further assess and quantify the economic impacts of the Arundel bypass. Given that several other transport schemes are ‘competing’ for scarce government resources at the present time, it is important the stage two progresses as soon as is practicably possible.”
Have our local politicians actually done anything since March, 2013?
Or has stage two been kicked into the long grass?