THE ROUTE of a new bypass was chosen through "sham of a public process," a community group has claimed.

Members of the Arundel Bypass Neighbourhood Committee said organisers had ignored public opinion by choosing the controversial grey route.

More than 1,600 people attended the 2019 consultation exhibitions, with Highway England receiving 4,945 response forms as well as 113 other written responses.

The grey route, which would see the road avoid the South Downs National Park, was chosen by officials despite receiving only 7% of support.

The Argus: The Arundel bypass would avoid the South Downs National ParkThe Arundel bypass would avoid the South Downs National Park

Of the six proposed routes, beige attracted the most support with 27% while 25% said Highways England should "do nothing".

Maggie Moore Alexander, a Binsted resident said organisers have restricted the voice of residents by ignoring results of the consultation.

She said: "Highways England (HE) dismissed responses mentioning the Arundel Alternative because the comments, which HE invited, did not fit with the options it proposed. "This is a sham of a public process. The community found a way to use its voice despite the attempts of HE to restrict it, and now the community’s voice has been deemed illegitimate and of no consequence by HE."

Starting at Crossbush, the new route will reconnect with the existing A27 in the west near the A27 and A29 Fontwell (East) roundabout.

The grey route is the most expensive of the five proposed and is expected to cost over £250million.

Original proposals to replace the problematic stretch of single carriageway were met with protest in 2017.

A spokesman for Highways England said: "The plans include a new five-mile dual carriageway which will draw traffic away from Arundel and reduce rat-running on minor roads through the national park.

"The new bypass will complete a missing link in the A27, the only major east to west route south of the M25, and avoids the South Downs national park completely."