New A27 Arundel bypass avoids national park

Image source, Highways England
Image caption,
The existing A27 Crossbush junction is the start of regular east-west congestion through Arundel

The route of a controversial bypass in West Sussex has been announced by Highways England.

Five of the six options for the A27 near Arundel would have involved building new roads in the South Downs National Park.

Highways England says the preferred route goes south of the national park and will protect the environment.

But the countryside charity CPRE Sussex said it was "appalled" by the decision to build the road.

Image source, Highways England
Image caption,
The new A27 Arundel bypass will avoid the South Downs national park

Arundel is a regular bottleneck on the A27, with 21,000 journeys made each day.

Highways England's initial proposals to replace a stretch of single carriageway were met with protests from residents in 2017.

The chosen route of the bypass goes south of the South Downs national park and includes a new dual carriageway between Crossbush in the east and a new junction near Tye Lane in the west.

CPRE Sussex said: "The new road would cut through Binsted Valley, passing close to the village's 12th Century church, natural wetlands and a rare chalk stream.

"This unnecessary road is a new dual carriageway, trashing beautiful villages and countryside, and encouraging car use in a climate emergency."

Image source, Highways England
Image caption,
Highways England had proposed six alternative routes for the A27 Arundel bypass

A spokesman for Highways England said: "The plans include a new five-mile dual carriageway which will draw traffic away from Arundel and reduce rat-running on minor roads through the national park.

"The new bypass will complete a missing link in the A27, the only major east to west route south of the M25, and avoids the South Downs national park completely."

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Today's announcement is an important one, with another step being taken to delivering benefits in the region through what is now a long-overdue scheme."

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