Dualling the A259 between Bognor Regis and Littlehampton has to be a priority, a meeting was told this week.
Cllr Martin Lury said the extensive improvement to the coastal road which linked the two towns was the only answer to the increasing volume of traffic caused by the area’s large-scale development.
He said: “It is likely to be seven years before there is any improvement.
“Judging by the amount of housing which is being built just along the A259 it should be sooner than seven or eight years before we implement the dualling of the A259 which is clearly necessary.”
His comments came after the Joint Western Arun Area Committee of county, district and parish councils was told that stretch of the A259 had recently been identified as a priority for investment in West Sussex County Council’s strategic investment programme.
This heavily-used and essential traffic corridor joins other previously identified priorities like the A284, A29 and other sections of the A259 that are major schemes planned for delivery.
A county council spokesman said: “The corridor has been identified as a priority due to the cumulative impacts arising from the development of sites allocated in the Arun local plan 2018, existing congestion and safety concerns.
“Some of the development sites have been granted planning permission and others are expected to come forward in the next five years.
“The first stage of work will be a feasibility study that will consider “these issues and a full range of options between the junctions of the A259 with the B2259 Flansham in the west and the proposed A284 Lyminster bypass in the east.
“The options to be explored include sustainable transport infrastructure that could help to mitigate development and benefit the wider community as part of a comprehensive package of improvements to the corridor.”
The feasibility study is due to be completed next spring.
Transport for the South East has also identified the corridor as one of its priorities for major road network funding in the 2020-2025 period.
But the cash will be subject to potential solutions being able to be built and providing value for money.
Cllr Colin Humphris, of Climping Parish Council, called for villagers to be involved in the feasibility study.
“There is a lot of knowledge in the village and we have a lot of transport data which we can supply if we are not excluded at this stage,” he said.
Middleton county councillor Jacky Pendleton said residents of villages such as Ford should also be involved in the consultation, which would find out if dualling of the road was needed.
Bognor Regis Town Council’s Cllr Steve Goodheart said: “We need to be having some involvement in how this feasibility study is actually undertaken and to assured that, as councillors, we will be part of its work. What is going on in and around this development is so important.”
County council area highways manager Ben Whiffin said he would ensure details about the study were given to the committee’s highways and transport sub-committee.