'New Arundel bypass consultation is a desperate bid in the wake of overwhelming opposition,' Green MEP
Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for the South East, has responded to the 'empty gesture' of Highways England's new consultation plans for the Arundel bypass.
The new consultation plans were announced on Friday, but speaking to The Argus Highways England chief Alan Feist confirmed that, regardless of the consultation, the controversial option 5A would remain the preferred route.
Mr Taylor, a member of the European Parliament's Transport Committee, has previously called for a full re-run of the original consultation, urging resident to be given the option to assess sustainable mobility alternatives.
Commenting on the latest development, the senior Green politician said:
"This new consultation is a desperate attempt to save face in the wake of overwhelming opposition from residents, Greens and environmental campaigners. Consulting again while the same rejected route remains the preferred option is nonsense. There is no 'new information' that will make the project any less destructive nor any less likely to fail on its own terms."
"It's true that congestion on the A27 is a problem, but these plans will only exacerbate the issue by encouraging more cars onto the road while nudging the congestion down the path to Chichester and Worthing. Decades of empirical studies and official reports have shown that increasing road capacity induces, not reduces, traffic."
"The money allocated to this scheme should instead be invested in integrated and sustainable mobility alternatives such as developing walking and cycling infrastructure, improving public and collective transport systems, and investing in electrified mobility - with a focus on e-bikes, trains, trams, and buses."
"Instead, this entire consultation process has been a sham. Not only has it excluded any sustainable alternatives, but it has also rejected ideas from the local community. Residents and environmental groups including SCATE, the Campaign for Better Transport and CPRE Sussex all favour another more effective, cost-efficient and less environmentally damaging road-based option, known as the 'new purple route'."
"I'm urging Highways England to stop flogging a dead horse and look at the real and necessary sustainable mobility solutions and the resident-designed 'new purple route'."