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Residents’ road safety fears

ANGRY residents fear lives will be lost unless problem parking in their Bognor Regis road is ended.


Dozens of homeowners and tenants, pictured above, in Applegate Way and its adjoining roads have called for action. They believe emergency vehicles, like fire engines and ambulances, will be unable to get past their crowded junction with Westloats Lane.


One of them, Pat Pond, said West Sussex County Council’s timescale of nearly two years for a possible solution was too long.


“This situation is very dangerous. The police are aware. There is going to be a terrible accident there one day with children also crossing from school.


“Not to forget the emergency services would not get through to anyone on the estate if there was a fire without smashing their way through cars and vans,” she said.


“We have a two-way adopted road with room for one small car to pass. A year to perhaps be decided…another year to not know if it will be implemented. It is unacceptable,” she said.


She pointed out the nearby junction of Gravits Lane and Westloats Lane had a raised surface and double yellow lines installed by the county council in 2017.


Mrs Pond and her husband, Tony, have lived in Applegate Way since the houses and flats were built five years ago.


They organised a petition to help them achieve action. This gained 78 signatures from the some 100 properties in the roads.


Mr Pond said: “People jumped at the chance to sign. They want to get the problem sorted.


“The situation has been getting worse since we’ve been here, especially at weekends and school times.


“People park all round the corners. Many of them park elsewhere. They don’t live in these properties.”


Fellow resident Linas Mikolaitis said: “If you’re driving up to the junction, and you meet someone going the other way, you have to back down all the way or go back on to Westloats Lane.”


Pendleton Place resident Carla Hardy said the road’s proximity to The Regis School made the safety situation worse.


“The kids have got their earphones on or are on their phones and they don’t look when they cross the road,” she said.


As well as the petition, Mr and Mrs Pond have contacted their county councillor, David Edwards, and one of their town and district councillors, Sandra Daniells, to seek further help.


Ben Whiffin, the county council’s Arun area highway manager, has told Mrs Pond the junction would be assessed against the council’s criteria for safety works.


“The proposal has been taken as far as it can at this stage and has to wait to be considered at the November, 2019, meeting (of the council’s Joint Western Arun Area Committee),” he wrote.


“It may be that the committee members decide not to prioritise this scheme, but clearly I can’t pre-empt what schemes they will prioritise.”


The lack of injury accidents at the Applegate Way/Westloats Lane junction in the past five years showed drivers were navigating it safely, he added.

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