Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Budget Statement - Lets hope for good news

George Osborne Budget Statement 3rd December.
The budget statement is due on the 3rd of December and I am writing this article in early November.

This statement will be important to Arundel in two aspects, firstly and very importantly we should hear regarding investment for flood defences.  The LTRAS Phase 1, Part 1 scheme (Lower Tidal River Arun Strategy) is to repair and future proof Arundel’s flood defences, this scheme will cost approximately £600k,

The Government has not yet agreed the scheme, and its progress will depend on the content of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 3 December.  The investment is firmly supported by the Environment Agency, West Sussex County Council, Arun District and Arundel Town Council, we do not yet have a formal commitment from Arun, but I know from discussions with officers that this should not be an issue.

The Environment Agency is expected to commit £280k; the balance of  £320k has so far been underwritten/guaranteed by WSCC in order to get the proposal onto the list of approved schemes.  In support of this, Arundel Town Council has already guaranteed (and made arrangements to put aside) £64k (two tenths), formal agreement will follow from Arun once we get the Chancellors commitment, this all bodes well for Arundel’s flood defences.

The second announcement will be about the A27 and could include a commitment on money for an Arundel Bypass, As you know I am in favour of the Pink Blue route or Option A, But this if it is confirmed will be the first step in a very long journey.

If the Chancellor does put the money aside (and it’s a big if), then it is expected that any scheme will be subject to a full public enquiry, an Environmental Impact assessment, where issues like the design (which be of the highest level), environmental mitigation, (tree planting etc) and sustainable transport mitigation will all be discussed and fed in to the process. 

We need a new Cycle way running parallel to Ford Road to Ford Station and we need a new free car park at Ford where there is space on the south side and already a hardcore area for maintenance.  The new cycle way from Arundel Station (under the railway and coming out by the bus stop should be completed some time this winter.

We also need the Arundel Chord, which is a rail link that will allow trains to travel down the Arun Valley line and turn left to go east to Brighton

All this will balance impact of a by-pass, when we now see the Newbury Bypass, I wonder why there was so much fuss 20 years ago, If the Bypass does get the go ahead then I think in 20 years we may  see this in a similar way.

Until next Month

Paul Dendle is the Arundel Ward & Cabinet member on Arun District Council, his email address is pauldendle@aol.com  

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