Tortington, more than any other parish in this area, will be changed forever by any new road which might be built to bypass the current Arundel ‘relief’ road, the A27.
Several possible routes have been explored and described in the past and following a public consultation, due to take place in the Spring of 2017, Highways England will decide on the the exact route the bypass will take and announce this in Autumn 2017.
But Highways England must make the public consultation a comprehensive examination of ALL of the options available to us. We at Tortington Local Community are 100% committed to a vast improvement to our local roads, to traffic congestion and to traffic flow. But we are also committed to seeking a value for money solution that protects the natural environment in the Arun Valley. In this we join organizations like the CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT RURAL ENGLAND, the SOUTH DOWNS SOCIETY, the CAMPAIGN FOR BETTER TRANSPORT and the SUSSEX WILDLIFE TRUST to urge Highways England to include the short bypass option of the PURPLE ROUTE. The TORTINGTON-BINSTED options must not be the only ones available for public consultation.
Only one thing is certain. If a fully offline bypass is built (options 2, 3 or 4) Tortington as a community will be severed from Arundel and the most extensive area of woodland south of the A27 will be devastated. The map above shows the options we believe might be under consideration and one can see that options 2 and 3 are the options that most threaten woodland and wildlife while option 4 not only separates Tortington from its woodland but cuts Binsted village, its woodland, hedgerows and fields in two.
It is not just the width of a four-lane road, its central reservation and its verges that will swallow our woodland. But the area lost to wildlife as sustainable habitat will be three or four times this area. Severance of the woodland block and of the woods from their fields and grazing marshes will impact more widely still on species which move between those habitats to sleep and to feed. Productive farmland right across the Arun Valley will be lost as well.
But it is Tortington’s woodland, its wildlife and the remnants of its ancient flora that will be lost forever if Highways England do not chose bypass options that offer the tax-payer value for money while also improving the existing road network in the area with short bypass east of the River Arun (option 1).
For a more detailed analysis of these bypass options and other transport issues in the Arundel area go to the Arundel A27 Forum website.