A27 madness – are we driving ourselves into the ground?

11 June 2018

Chichester and Bognor Green Party condemns the proposed A27 road building schemes at Arundel and Chichester, both of which would decimate huge areas of unique and valuable countryside.

In the case of Arundel, the local Green party supports the strong local campaign of opposition to Option 5a, the long and damaging bypass which would destroy the Arun Valley, meadowland and woodland setting of the Binsted area. Spokesperson,  Isabel Thurston, said, "It is particularly upsetting that local people have put a great deal of effort into developing viable alternatives to the three options put forward, only to see their suggestions completely ignored."

The Green Party therefore welcomes the South Downs National Park Authority’s judicial challenge to Highways England’s stance, which was based on flawed evidence. We also welcome the opposition voiced by ten large and important conservation charities and transport organisations.

If the bypass is built at Arundel, it will not only attract more traffic, but will also further contribute to congestion at Chichester and Worthing.  The recent announcement that West Sussex County Council and Chichester District council are backing a new northern bypass across stunning landscape at Chichester, shows how insensitively the roads building proposals are being handled. Chichester Green Party City Councillor Sarah Sharp commented “Encircling Chichester in concrete is a backward looking step from the last millennium, which ignores all the evidence of induced traffic. And this decision only reinforces divisions between north and south. Meanwhile, no real progress is being made towards sustainable long-term solutions that could unite the city.”

“We should not sacrifice our surroundings in this way, for short term solutions to a problem that, in the 21st century, should be easy to solve in more creative ways.”

The Green Party believes that the large amounts of money that are being put aside for these projects should instead be used for alleviating congestion through a mixture of smaller road schemes, plus a massive investment in new and improved rail and bus services and cycling and walking facilities. These would contribute to a coherent and integrated system for moving people, rather than cars, around the area. And it would do away with the need to destroy our own back yards.