Friends of the Earth chief executive to challenge Highways England over ‘disastrous’ Arundel Bypass plans

Building the Arundel Bypass would cause enormous damage to the South Downs National Park and further fuel the UK’s contribution to climate breakdown
  Published:  08 Oct 2019    |      1 minute read
  • Environmental organisation calls for scrapping of Highways England, and its replacement with an agency that looks at transport in the round
  • Photo and interview opportunities available as Friends of the Earth’s Chief Executive, Craig Bennett, leads walk through area affected by the proposed bypass

Building the Arundel Bypass would cause enormous damage to the South Downs National Park and further fuel the UK’s contribution to climate breakdown, Friends of the Earth’s Chief Executive, Craig Bennett, will today (8th October) warn Highways England planners as he leads a walk through the ancient woodlands and water meadows under threat from the project.

Tell the government to adopt Friends of the Earth's Climate Action Plan

Mr. Bennett will also visit the public exhibition on the Arundel Bypass, asking Highways England how the project fits in with the climate crisis

The Arundel Bypass is highly likely to damage the South Downs National Park; destroying ancient woodland and wildlife rich water meadows. More broadly, building a new dual carriageway will only lead to increased traffic emissions when time to deal with the climate crisis is fast running out. The bypass is also part of wider plans to add extra traffic lanes to the A27 along the south coast.

Craig Bennett said:

“A dual carriageway at Arundel spells disaster for the South Downs National Park. Highways England’s approach to transport issues around Arundel is completely at odds with the climate emergency we are facing right now.

“This is just one of many dinosaur roads the government is championing to be built across the country. Transport is the country’s biggest source of emissions, but the Department for Transport has gone completely rogue on climate; making no effort to reduce emissions or invest in alternatives to the car such as affordable train travel and safe cycling routes.

“A good place to start would be scrapping Highways England altogether. It’s not fit for purpose, and needs to be replaced with an agency that looks at transport in the round. We need to have proposals for the best ways for people to get from A to B, instead of just defaulting to roads.”

Timings:

  • 11:15 – Craig Bennett to visit Highways England exhibition in Mill Road Car Park
  • 14:00 – Press photo call and interview opportunities at Ford Roundabout, A27
  • 14:15 – Start of walk along potential bypass route; along River Arun and cutting through Tortington woods over to Binsted village.

Notes:

  1. For background on the environmental impact that would come from the Arundel Bypass visit https://www.arundelbypass.co.uk/