By Lotte Pegler
Funding has been confirmed to contribute to the A29 realignment.
A total of £9.9m of Local Growth Funding has been contributed to improving the A29, an area often congested during peak periods.
The realignment will deliver a new 4.34km road to the east of Eastergate, Westergate and Woodgate villages.
A statement from West Sussex County Council said:
“The proposed road will help to provide a more reliable connection to Bognor Regis and reduce traffic along the section of the existing A29 that is proposed to be bypassed.
“This will improve and reduce journeys and help provide safer journeys for all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists.”
Phase one of the scheme, a road from Fontwell Avenue to Barnham Road, is due to be completed by winter 2021, with the Local Growth Funds being used throughout the project to ensure a ‘successful delivery’.
Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital, said:
“The Coast to Capital Board approved funding for the A29 project which aligns with a number our economic priorities, including to promote better transport mobility and to invest in sustainable growth.
“We look forward to working with West Sussex County Council on the next steps of the project.”
The proposal is for a new single carriageway road and combined cycle way and footpath. A later phase will include a new railway bridge and new foot and cycle bridge.
A statement from StopA29Bypass campaigners said:
“The approval of government funding for a first phase of an A29 realignment is madness.
“The claimed rationale for the road, split into two phases with four years in between, is firstly to give a single minute faster travel time between Fontwell and Bognor Regis.
“Secondly their reasoning is to facilitate so-called strategic housing in Eastergate, Westergate and undisclosed locations elsewhere in the District.
“The reality is that neither objective will be delivered by phase one alone (and certainly not with phase two added).
“The A29 realignment is another example of West Sussex County Council’s poor performance and inadequate engagement with local residents.
“A consultation earlier in the year was due to be published in summer, then autumn and has still not been seen.
“There is no evidence that WSCC listen to local folk or take their views into any account.
“There has been no apparent response to the recent petition for Shripney and Lidsey to be bypassed in phase 2 in order to improve their safety, environment and quality of life.
“The A29 Realignment just serves the great god of urbanisation and traffic pollution. What’s the sense in that?”