The South Downs National Park is being surrounded by major road schemes that will only increase traffic and increase CO2 emissions

Highways England have major road schemes in hand for a junction on the M3 at Winchester, the A27 at Arundel and draft scheme for a new ‘off line’ dual carriageway for the A27 East of Lewes. In addition they will be holding a public consultation in spring/summer 2022. regarding the A27 Worthing and Lancing ‘improvement’ scheme. However they don’t seem to be listening to the Government’s Climate Change Committee when they say “new roads should only be built if they can be shown not to increase emissions” None of the schemes proposed by Highways England have been subjected to a CO2 emissions audit. See this detailed report by the Guardian on the Committee’s latest report.

New roads create new traffic, says the Campaign for Better Transport. “When a new road is built, new traffic will divert onto it. Many people may make new trips they would otherwise not make, and will travel longer distances just because of the presence of the new road. This well-known and long-established effect is known as ‘induced traffic’.” These are the opening words in the report by the Campaign for Better Transport which also references an excellent report by CPRE entitled “The Impact of Road Projects in England Report”. These follow up on the 1994 SACTRA report ‘Trunk Roads and the Generation of Traffic’, and the 2006 report ‘Beyond Transport Infrastructure’ by independent consultants for the Countryside Agency and CPRE. See more.

Transport Action Network (TAN) have taken the campaign against road building to another level by taking out a legal challenge against the Government’s road building campaign. Their two action are:

  • RIS2 – challenging the Government’s approval of its £27 billion, second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) on climate grounds. This was heard in the High Court on 29-30 June 2021. The judgement is yet to be announced.
  • Policy Statement – they challenging the Government’s refusal to review the national policy that governs planning approval for new roads (National Policy Statement for National Networks). Currently it doesn’t allow decision makers to seriously consider climate change.

TAN’s purpose is to help support people and groups press for more sustainable transport in England and Wales. This involves fighting cuts to bus services, particularly in rural areas, and opposing damaging road schemes and large unsustainable developments. That’s why they are challenging the Government’s road building plans. To find out more and support TAN click HERE

Here is what three of our SDN members have to say on about Highways England plans to expand road construction:

SCATE has produced a detailed document entitled “A New Transport Vision” for the Sussex Coast. They have also produced a briefing as an introduction to some of the ideas and actions suggested in the full report and a video Click HERE for more information

CPRE has produced a report entitled “The end of the road? Challenging the road-building consensus.” This report reveals that road-building is failing to provide the congestion relief and economic boost promised while devastating the environment. It directly challenges government claims that ‘the economic gains from road investment are beyond doubt’; that road-building will lead to ‘mile a minute’ journeys; and that the impact on the environment will be limited ‘as far as possible’. The report shows how road building over the past two decades has repeatedly failed to live up to similar aims. The report is based on a study commissioned by CPRE and carried out by consultants Transport for Quality of Life (TfQL), which examined 86 official studies of completed road schemes. The TfQL research is available here:

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust say “Proposals for the Junction 9 expansion on the M3, near Winchester, will destroy important habitats and harm wildlife in neighbouring nature reserves”. Click HERE for more information

2 thoughts on “The South Downs National Park is being surrounded by major road schemes that will only increase traffic and increase CO2 emissions

  1. Can I subscribe to this newsletter?
    There is a new Roads Rebellion group forming as part of XR. I’m trying to join it but it only communicates by Whatsapp, not email, so this is a slight problem for me. It might be a good subject for a newsletter. It’s being led by XR Derby people.
    Emma Tristram

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