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Council fears traffic logjam

A PROPOSAL to improve traffic conditions on a busy North Bersted road will make matters worse, councillors have warned.


West Sussex County Council wants to ban right hand turns out of the Bognor Regis Retail Park to avoid long delays.


The entrance and exit to the shopping site with Halfords, Matalan and Lidl among other retailers has become busier since the stretch of Rowan Way in front of it became the link between the two northern relief road sections in 2016.


But Bersted Parish Council chairman Cllr Brian Knight, pictured right, said: “It is very difficult to understand this measure. It is going to cause problems.


“That’s going to push traffic to both of the roundabouts. At times, the traffic is completely stuck at Halfords or the roundabout either on the way in or the way out. How we are going to cope with the traffic? I don’t think anyone knows.


“If we are going to have Aldi coming to the A29 as well as Lidl on the opposite side, conditions are going to be just shocking.”


The congestion would get worse if the expected 7,000 homes were built along the axis from Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate through to Pagham as Arun District Council intended, he said.


The opening of industrial sites like Saltbox and the rest of Oldlands Farm would add more pressure on the network.


Cllr Knight repeated Bersted Parish Council’s call for the missing section of the northern relief road between the current eastern and western parts to be built to bypass the portion of Rowan Way between the western relief road and the A29 Shripney Road roundabouts.


“You only have to sit in a car and watch all the traffic to see how bad the situation is. I did that on a recent Saturday and traffic built up on the retail park back to Lidl.


“Half of the cars turned right out of there. All those cars will be going to the roundabouts and, therefore, doubling the traffic movements along that part of the Rowan Way,” he said.


Parish councillor David Meagher said the rise in traffic volumes would mean more motorists would seek rat runs through routes like Durban Road.


The county council wants to make a permanent traffic regulation order to ban any vehicle travelling eastwards on Rowan Way from turning right into the retail park. The order will also stop vehicles turning right on to Rowan Way from the retail park.


Tony Kershaw, its director of law and assurance, says in a statement: “Banning right turns at this junction is proposed to reduce the number of collisions reported at this location.


“It is also anticipated that the restriction will reduce congestion at the junction within the retail park which is currently caused when high traffic flow on Rowan Way causes long queues of vehicles waiting to turn right out of the retail park.


“This queue obstructs visibility for vehicles turning left out of the retail park, which further reduces safety at the junction.”

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