Following over a year of planning, consultation and consideration Highways England has announced its preferred route for a new five-mile dual carriageway that will relieve a bottleneck for traffic in the ancient town of Arundel, on the A27, which runs along the country’s south coast.
The new preferred route – the grey option 5BV1, put forward at last year’s further consultation – strikes the right balance between creating vital new road capacity and protecting the special environment and cultural heritage in and around Arundel.
The A27 at Arundel is a regular traffic bottleneck, with 21,000 journeys made each day. The plans unveiled today will not only ease congestion on this busy stretch, which will get worse if nothing is done, but will also make the road safer and reduce the number of collisions.
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. Highways England have been working hard on the plans, taking into account feedback received from the public and other stakeholders, over the last 12 months. The new bypass will complete a missing link in the A27.
“The A27 is the only strategic east west route south of the M25. This new road removes the traffic from the centre of Arundel and provides faster more reliable journey times for users of this important road,” says Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan (left). “We will continue to work with communities and local groups to further develop the project’s design, so we can deliver a scheme that has as little impact as possible on the special environment and local people in and around Arundel.”
Six options were put to the public for views between August and October last year, and the announcement considers feedback made during the further consultation and further review periods.
As well as improving journey times, the plans will:
Make journeys safer – the A27 at Arundel has an above average collision rate. In the five-year period 1 January 2013-31 December 2017, 81 personal injury collisions, resulting in 121 casualties, were recorded between Crossbush junction to the east and the Fontwell (East) junction to the west.
Reduce congestion – the existing A27 through Arundel is operating at up to 150% capacity, with around 21,000 vehicles using the A27 through on a daily basis, this is predicted to increase to 26,300 by 2041.
Support economic growth – businesses across the region will benefit from efficiencies and improved journey times, while the additional capacity will enable the authorities to better manage population growth.
The further consultation ran for eight weeks last year and was followed by a further review period which finished in March this year. More than 1,600 people attended the 2019 consultation exhibitions and 5,058 responses were received. Two-thirds (67%) of respondents supported the need to improve the A27 around Arundel.