Arundel - a tale of two by-passes

tliouk office at
Fri Jul 4 01:27:19 BST 2003

Arundel - a tale of two by-passes
ian, 26.06.2003 

Arundel in West Sussex already had a bypass built in the 1970's, now 
they plan to build another one over the old one. A 5.2 kilometre area 
of ancient woodland is threatened with the chop at Binstead Wood and 
Tittington Common, and a protest camp is now up and running at 

Bypassing the existing bypass, it would cross the important River 
Arun wetlands south of Arundel on concrete stilts or a huge 
embankment, and then plough through a mile of precious Sussex 
woodland. Thousands, probably tens of thousands, of trees would be 
lost, including some fine 100 foot oak trees, yews, and one 
particular 100 foot beech tree, thought to be the oldest tree in the 

Taken from the South Coast Against Roadbuilding website - 

Situated on the A27 - the main trunk road along the south coast - 
Arundel, along with many other towns and villages, suffers from the 
continuing increase in traffic pollution. Even in 1070 - the year 
history tells us Roger de Montgomery founded Arundel Castle - traffic 
was a problem. This time river traffic as well as road, as Arundel 
sits conveniently on the river Arun - hence it's name - and in those 
times of invasion and battles quite a chaotic place. 

By 1960 the town had enough. With the Beeching cuts in the rail 
network and road traffic increasing, Arundel campaigned successfully 
for a bypass, this was built about 1970. Clearly the town was 
overjoyed by the cut in noise and fumes as through traffic reduced, 
However Arundel's euphoria was soon overtaken by gloom, as the 
capacity of the A27 either side of the bypass was steadily increased 
with the upgrading of the road to dual carriageway 

Today's Arundel is becoming concerned that all this extra traffic 
will soon overload the bypass. 

So what's the plan? Well of course the pressure is on to build a 
second bypass, the infamous 'Bypass of the bypass'. 

But the problem for decision makers is how to put a dual carriageway -
 as that is what a second bypass must surely be - across the Arun 
valley without damaging the important water meadows and views down 
the Arun valley, then how to cut through ancient woodland in the 
Binstead Wood area without great harm to that eco-system. 

In the scheme put forward some years ago, a structure some 30 feet 
high was proposed to carry the traffic on the dual carriageway across 
the valley - the so called motorway on stilts scheme. Naturally there 
was uproar, as such an alien structure would destroy the setting of 
Arundel and the magnificent views down the Arun valley. It was even 
rumored that Roger de Montgomery would rise up and join eco warriors 
to defeat the scheme. 

As for the ancient woodland around Binstead and Tortington Common, 
these are important biological site of nature conservation value. 
They supports plant and animal communities that have developed over 
thousands of years. The proposed alignment for the road would split 
habitats and nature conservation sites into smaller and less viable 

As you would expect, we believe the environmental cost is to great 
and any gain of reduced traffic congestion, soon lost as the extra 
road capacity is filled by induced traffic. A more sustainable 
approach than to build more road space would be to reduce the need to 
commute by car. Public transport must be made more user friendly and 
the need to commute to work over greater and greater distances 
reversed. Planners have a great responsibility to see that more goods 
are produced locally in the community. 

FOr more info check out South Coast Against Roadbuilding and Road 

Pictures from the protest march along the proposed route on 29'th June
30.06.2003 22:11

Some pictures of the countryside to be trashed and the protest camp 

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