By Jess Price
The Sussex Wildlife Trust has been very vocal in its opposition to the proposals presented in Highway England’s Arundel Bypass consultation. Our Chief Executive, Dr Tony Whitbread has spoken publically about the problems new roads cause by creating more traffic, and the extreme damage that options 3 and 5A in particular will cause to the environment.
Many of our members and supporters have taken up our call to action, for which we are very grateful. However if you want more information, here are some of the key reasons why the Sussex Wildlife Trust is objecting to these schemes:
- Vast amounts of public money will be spent on badly thought out schemes, which do not follow the transport hierarchy and are not strategic solutions. This means they will only create more problems and more unsustainable development.
- The options presented do not meet the aims proposed in the consultation brochure.
- The huge predicted impacts on the environment, particularly irreplaceable habitats such as ancient woodland and chalk stream, are not outweighed by the minor predicted savings in journey time.
- The ecological evidence base is extremely limited with a lack of both quality and quantity of data. In particular:
- Only 20% of the study area has been surveyed
- The survey was carried out in January, a time when many species and habitats are not visible
- No targeted species surveys have been carried out despite knowing that protected and priority species such as bats, water vole and dormice are present
- This lack of ecological information, means we cannot see how the true financial cost of mitigating the environmental impacts of the options could have been accurately calculated
Please take some time over the next four days to look at the details of these proposals. The environment is fundamental to our social and economic wellbeing, but it is being undervalued and dismissed by a public body yet again. This simply has to stop.