Plans for an Arundel bypass and not the widening of the existing A27 should be supported in principle by councillors, according to a leaked email.
Decades of disagreement over how to solve traffic issues on the A27 at Arundel were recently reignited when Highways England published three options to improve the road.
Two of the options – option 3 and option 5A – are to bypass the town entirely, while the other – option 1 – is to widen the existing road.
Arun District Council has confirmed the email seen by this newspaper was from chief executive Nigel Lynn and was sent yesterday (September 13).
It suggests councillors should support ‘the principle of creating a bypass for Arundel that links the A27 to the west of the White Swan Hotel with the Crossbush junction in order to improve the economic well-being of the Arundel and the region, and the social and environmental well-being of residents in Arundel, Storrington and surrounding communities’.
But while the email suggests a bypass is supported, it recommends councillors call for a different solution to the two proposed.
It says: “The Council would urge Highways England to consider a revision to produce a modified solution between Options 3 & 5a route corridors, which reduces the impact upon residents and the environment.”
The email goes on to say: “To improve accessibility to and from communities existing and proposed, south of the railway and the residential amenity of residents in Ford Road, Arundel, the Council would encourage Highways England to consider amending the preferred route to provide ideally a full junction between the A27 Bypass and Ford Road, or at least the minimum of a restricted access/egress junction.”
The email also recommends councillors encourage Highways England to support the creation of a cycleway between the South Downs National Park via Arundel to the coast along the River Arun, and improved parking for commuters. tourists and residents at Ford railway station.
The list of the email’s recipients is not disclosed and it includes the line: “Please can you forward this on or share as appropriate, recognising that this is not for public consumption at the present time and is an officer view not a Member decision.”
The email adds that the officers’ recommendations will not be debated by elected councillors until October but that ‘their approval is anticipated’.
Councillor Gill Brown, leader of Arun District Council confirmed at a meeting last night that councillors would be briefed on the issue next week. “
A spokesman for Arun District Council said: “The email referred to was sent from Nigel Lynn in preparation for a member briefing due to take place next week.
“The planned briefing will explain all options to Arun District Council members and will clearly explain the officer recommendations.
“The information in the email is purely, as stated, a recommendation based on what officers believe is the best way forward to make the A27 a success for all partners involved; residents, businesses and the wider public.
“Therefore, the view of the officers has been sent to the partners in advance of the Member briefing.
“It is understood that all partners will have the opportunity, as individual bodies, to respond to the consultation and will do so entirely separately to Arun District Council.”