CONCERNS about road safety caused councillors to delay a decision about a planned crematorium in Yapton.
The Arun District Council members said they feared for the safety of motorists and cyclists along the A259 if the proposal went ahead.
They voted to defer the application at their meeting on Wednesday for a further road safety audit to be carried out.
The development control committee made its decision about the plans by Landlink Estates after a series of comments about the risks caused by the corteges going to and from the Grevatts Lane site.
Committee member Cllr Ricky Bower (C, East Preston) said a road safety audit should be carried out on four consecutive days mid-morning and mid-afternoon to answer councillors’ concerns.
“This is the wrong type of junction to cope with the A259. This is the A259 and we have seen recently from press statements that the A259 between Littlehampton and Bognor Regis is a matter of some concern and desperately needs an upgrade.
“I am pleased someone, somewhere has acknowledged that is needed. But putting another junction in here is a dangerous move,” he said.
Cllr Terry Chapman (C, East Preston) said he was worried cyclists could be at risk from the corteges cutting across the cycle path and footway.
“Cyclists going from Felpham to Littlehampton face the possibility of not being aware that a funeral cortege is travelling east and the A259,” he said.
Cllr John Charles (C, Barnham) said:
“I don’t believe that the plan we have in front of us is enough of a bend there to stop anyone that is coming from Bognor not having to move into the middle of the road to negotiate that junction.”
Cllr Elaine Stainton (C, Felpham W) and Cllr Hugh Coster (I, Aldwick E) also opposed creating another junction.
The committee was told by Cllr Colin Humphris, Climping Parish Council’s chairman, said:
“Clearly, this development will increase traffic on the A259 and it will be slow-moving traffic.
“It will also increase traffic on all the feeder roads to the A259 from the north. The development will create a new junction on the A259 and I don’t think I have to remind anyone this stretch of the A259 between Flansham and Littlehampton is notorious for the dangers of all the junctions and turning manoeuvres that happen along it.”
Middleton Parish Council’s Cllr Christine Johnson said: “Access arrangements to Grevatts Lane West to and from the A259 lie in close proximity to Comet Corner and are not safe unless major improvements are made at Comet Corner.
“This junction is already dangerous, congested and an additional junction would exacerbate the issues.”
Transport expert Spencer Bryan, speaking for Landlink Estates, said:
“This is not like the Comet Corner junction. It is very different.”
An average of 19 vehicle trips would be generated for each service at the crematorium. The new right-turn junction for those travelling west along A259 was the preferred option of West Sussex County Council.
Stephen Gee, county highways officer, said an HGV – bigger than a hearse – would be able to make that turning without over-hanging the adjoining lanes.