A27 Arundel bypass: Council puts forward preferred option

A27 proposed routes Image copyright Highways England
Image caption All options would see the road turn into a dual carriageway to ease congestion

A council's preferred option for improving a congested trunk road through the South Downs National Park has been put to Highways England.

West Sussex County Council's choice for the A27 Arundel bypass is Option 5A, through Binsted, provided environmental measures are introduced.

A Highways England consultation on three possible options ended on Monday.

Councillor Bob Lanzer said the route through Binsted would have "substantial economic benefits".

All three options would see the single carriageway turned into a dual carriageway and the county council is a consultee in the decision-making process.

Image caption Hundreds of people protested against development at Binsted Woods

Mr Lanzer said a committee had concluded "option 5A would have the most benefit to traffic and the economy by relieving congestion at Arundel and attracting traffic that currently rat runs through residential areas and South Downs National Park to avoid congestion".

Binsted village is alongside 250 acres of ancient woodland.

Poet, novelist and screenwriter Laurie Lee sought refuge in Binsted Woods with his lover during World War Two.

Hundreds of protesters marched through the woods earlier this month in a bid to save the site from development.

Image copyright Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee
Image caption Poet, novelist and screenwriter Laurie Lee sought refuge in Binsted Woods during World War Two

Mr Lanzer said the council recognised it would have an "adverse effect on the environment and people who live in Binsted, so recommended a high-quality package of environmental mitigation measures as part of the scheme."

Once all consultation responses have been analysed by Highways England, a preferred route is expected to be announced this winter by the secretary of state.

A consultation on the preferred route is expected to take place in 2018.

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