I read with mounting irritation the coverage of Nick Herbert MP’s entry into the A27 debate, under the headline ‘Action is demanded to improve the A27’.
Most of it was the familiar rhetoric from people (like Herbert) living in Arundel who want to demolish our beautiful environment in the name of ‘roadbuilding’.
Firstly, the misinformation routinely trotted out by talking of the need for an Arundel ‘bypass’ (by which is meant a motorway, smashing through the green fields, water meadows and primary woodland we are so fortunate to possess) when Arundel has actually got a bypass, clearly labelled as such on all maps.
It was opened in 1971, and worked perfectly well until the stretch between Patching and Crossbush was built 20 years later, grinding to a halt at the Crossbush traffic lights.
It is blindingly obvious to everyone who has the slightest care for our environment that the whole cause of traffic problems at Crossbush is the traffic lights there: it is well within the skill of modern engineering to just change the road layout, put in a carefully-landscaped flyover or underpass for the Lyminster Road, strengthen the bridges over the railway and river with an underpass for the pedestrian crossing, and just slightly widen the existing road.
Then you understand the real reason that this is not wanted – Arundel people think it will ‘further divide the town’, so stuff the environment, put in a motorway across green fields. Nimbyism at its finest.
Two points in conclusion. All local Sussex people know to avoid this section of the A27 on those days when congestion is at its worst (the Goodwood Festival of Speed weekend springs to mind) and use the perfectly decent A259 to avoid it. It is a good alternative route.
Secondly, and to be fair to Herbert, he mentions this, the problems at Broadwater/Charmandean are far, far worse than at Arundel, and so is Chichester.
In the interests of balance, the Observer should acknowledge very many people want no more roadbuilding at all through our superb countryside, and present all the above points.