TWO LANES should become one in Shripney to make the village safer, a council has urged.
Bersted Parish Council said the dual- carriageway section of the A29 should be moved out of the village for the sake of its residents as well as motorists.
The request was agreed by councillors as part of their comments to West Sussex County Council’s strategic transport investment programme.
Cllr Gill Yeates, chairman of the parish council’s plannng, amenities and environment committee, said: “The A29 is a dual-carriageway until part-way through the village. There are not many villages which suffer from this hazard.
“The dual-carriageway needs to be reduced to single lane before the village which will avoid the ability or need to speed to get past slower moving traffic before the road becomes single- carriageway. There is some urgency to this request for the safety not just of local residents but all road users.
“If there is no plan to resolve this in place, either now or for the future, land which would be required could well be used for other purposes, preventing a resolution ever being put in place. This would not support the regeneration of the town (Bognor Regis) for residential, business or leisure purposes.”
The possible solution to the current situation would be to re-route the A29 alignment to the east of Shripney village, she said. This would mean the proposed new route for the road continued to the roundabout to the south where the A29 and A259 cross instead of the current plans of ending before that.
“At the very least, ensure that the land is retained and not given permission for other uses which would prevent expected problems being solved in the future,” she said.
The A29’s current route funnels all the current and expected increases in traffic into Shripney. More than 3,000 homes are planned to the north and a large increase in industrial development is set to take place immediately to the south.
Cllr Yeates said: “At busy times, the road is already dangerous and this can only be exacerbated by the rise in the number of cars and, more particularly, heavy goods vehicles travelling along the curving road through the village.”
The parish council’s contribution to the potential strategic transport investment programme was to form a direct link from the A29 to the A259 relief road from the new business park at Salt Box Field, between the two roads, to remove the intention for vehicles to use Rowan Way.
Re-routing the relief road through Salt Box Field to give direct and safe access to the industrial park will avoid the need for HGVs to use the pinch points of Rowan Way and Shripney village.
Cllr Mrs Yeates told the parish council: “It could be years before these ideas are looked at but at least we have taken part in this process. If we don’t take part, then nothing will be done even if funding becomes available.”