CAMPAIGNERS say a controversial bypass which runs close to multiple villages could lead to the “injuries or deaths” of children trying to get to school.

Protesters were in Chichester yesterday and staged a silent protest at a National Highways’ consultation event in Walberton, near Arundel, on Monday.

People are concerned about how close the four-lane highway will go to the villages, with the grey route to be just 160 metres away from one of the schools in Walberton.

The road would cut through the Binsted Valley, passing close to Binsted village’s 12th Century church, natural wetlands and a rare chalk stream, protesters said.

National Highways has confirmed The Street in Walberton will see around 1,300 additional cars from the A29 passing through its main narrow street every day.

Parents have said the increase in traffic could lead to the “inevitable injuries or deaths” to children and families walking along the road. Cars often mount the pavement to squeeze past currently.

Campaigners say the road is “already dangerous” for pupils and their families due to cars mounting the pavement as they try to pass along each other.

The Argus: People are worried about the narrow road being used as even more of a "rat run"People are worried about the narrow road being used as even more of a "rat run"

The village has around 300 children currently attending one of Walberton & Binsted Primary School, Walberton Playcentre and Walberton Pre-School & Nursery.

Sally Ward from Walberton Friends and Neighbours said: "We share a deep anxiety that this ill-thought out plan will result in inevitable injuries or deaths to children trying to get in and out of their education/play centres, let alone the damage to their long-term health.

“We also fear that National Highways are not listening to our very real concerns. We want to express our strong opposition to National Highways’ plans.”

The Argus: The silent protest in Walberton on MondayThe silent protest in Walberton on Monday

National Highways would not confirm whether there would be any barriers put in place to make the road in Walberton safer for people walking.

National Highways senior project manager Andrew Jackson said: "The Arundel Bypass consultation draws to a close on 8 March, so there is plenty of time for people to have their say.

“We are of course interested in all views, and if people have any concerns I encourage them to feed them back to us through the consultation."

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