THOUSANDS of extra vehicles will make road conditions around Pagham unbearable, campaigners claim.
The area’s population is set to soar by 10,000 if all the proposed housing is built in the next 15 years.
Albert Homer, one of the founders of PAGAM, said: “Access to the village, already difficult at times, is set to become far worse unless major work to the road network is undertaken.
“Pagham is on a virtual peninsula with the English Channel to the south, Pagham Harbour and Rife to the west, the built-up estates of Aldwick to the east and access limited to Pagham Road and ‘rat runs’ to the A259.
“These both connect to the already congested A27 Chichester bypass.
“Indecision about how to develop the Chichester bypass has meant that any start on work to provide a solution is not likely to be before 2023.
“When it does, there is going to be years of construction work resulting in delays and frustration for motorists.
“Meanwhile, the growing population south of the A27 and in the western part of the Arun district will be putting more and more pressure on the road system as will those developments in and around Chichester.
“The mitigation so far proposed to solve the traffic situation consists mainly of minor changes to some road junctions and roundabouts.”
The major project of terminating Vinnetrow Road at a new roundabout which would give access to a new industrial estate and supermarket as well as connecting the A259 to the A27 was likely to cause as many problems as it solved, he said.
“All the solutiuons proposed so far do not look far enough into the future,” said Mr Homer, of the Pagham and Aldwick Greenfields Action Movement.
Beyond the present plans until 2031, it was likely the government would impose similar housebuilding targets to the 1,000 annual quote likely to soon be given to Arun District Council.
He said: “Any plans for improving existing roads or building new ones should be looking that far ahead and not just aim to provide sticking plaster solutions.
“What may seem expensive solutions now, will surely become far more expensive as time goes by. So, now is the time to make forward-looking plans to keep ahead of the game.”
One particular aspect of concern about the transport plans was the ‘deplorable lack’ of dedicated cycle and pedestrian paths to the west of Bognor Regis town centre, said Mr Homer. This contradicted national planning policies.
“The proposals for the developments in north and south Pagham go some way to providing cycle and pedestrian paths.
“But, unless these link into routes into Bognor Regis town centre and Chichester, their value is very limited.
“The proposal to develop the cycle route along Summer Lane, across Pagham Rife and through Mundham, does nothing to provide for those cyclists who wish to use, or need to access, workplaces along Pagham Road,” he added.
The current housing plans are for Hook Lane (300 homes), Summer Lane (400 homes) and Sefter Road (250 homes). But the total number could go past 1,000 before the developments are completed.