The Sussex Wildlife Trust has responded to the consultation to give a voice to the wildlife that will be irreversibly impacted by the proposals, but we need your help so that Highways England knows that we want better not bigger roads in Sussex that don’t destroy what’s left of our wonderful wildlife.
Highways England would like you to respond via their online survey here, but it is very restrictive so we need to make sure we get our points about wildlife across strongly. Please:
- Read our additional comments set out below
- Go onto www.arundelalternative.org to read about the alternative we are supporting
- On the Arundel Alternative website click on ‘respond to the consultation’
- Follow the Arundel Alternative’s guide to answering the consultation questions and include our additional comments set out below
Question 8 – How to Answer
The Sussex Wildlife Trust would encourage you to talk about how the existing road already severs important habitats. Given the ecological and climate emergency we are facing, Highways England should be focusing on improving connectivity for wildlife – joining up the landscape, not severing it further, creating more light and noise pollution and increased greenhouse gas emissions.
Question 12 – How to Answer
This question asks you for your least preferred option i.e. the worst option of the six. You can only choose one option, which is very difficult considering they all have unacceptable impacts on biodiversity and people. As we speak for wildlife, the Sussex Wildlife Trust must select the Crimson route as it will result in the destruction of over 20 hectares of ancient woodland. However, all the options are bad. On the Arundel Alternative website, they suggest selecting Magenta as this will destroy the village of Binsted as well as being terrible for wildlife. This is also the option favoured by people who want a bypass and is likely to be Highways England's favourite.
Question 13 – How to Answer
We do recommend that you use this space to support the Arundel Alternative as Highways England have said they will record everything that is put in the comment boxes, so we want lots of mentions of the alternative route. However you may also want to consider some of the following wildlife issues that are of particular concern to us:
- All options presented would result in the permanent, harmful severance of habitats, landscape, hydrology, communities and cultural heritage.
- Crimson, Magenta, Amber and Grey all present unacceptable levels of environmental severance both physically and through light, noise and vibration.
- Ancient Woodland is irreplaceable – severing the hedgerows and woodland lags to the south of Binsted Wood will severely impact the Ancient Woodland and the wildlife it supports
- It is unacceptable that the Environmental Assessments conducted so far assume that the route will be built on an embankment across the River Arun floodplain. A viaduct is an absolute must to ensure permeability for people and wildlife and to prevent serious flood risk.
- It is unacceptable that Highways England completely ignore our new legally binding targets for net zero emissions.
Sussex Wildlife Trust response
The document below sets out what Sussex Wildlife Trust said in the free text boxes for questions 8, 13 and 18. We also answered question 25, but this part of the questionnaire is only for organisations rather than individuals:
What else can you do?
- Attend one of Highways England's public consultation exhibitions and tell them about your support for the Arundel Alternative.
- Join the South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment (SCATE) to show that there is a different way to improve access in Sussex
- Support the local communities fighting this damaging scheme
- Let the Councillors in West Sussex and the Members of the South Downs National Park Authority know what you think about the proposal