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Call made for a traffic-free High Street to improve town

Traffic should be banned from Bognor Regis High Street, a councillor has stated.


Cllr Steve Goodheart said he would like to see all vehicles stopped from travelling along the middle section of the road to allow it to be used for outdoor socialising.


Gas works at The Arcade’s junction with High Street closed it from March 4 until this week.


Their presence has meant buses, which are the only vehicles along with the emergency services allowed to be driven past The Arcade, were diverted along Belmont Street. They rejoined High Street at York Road and Clarence Road.


“They have to use Belmont Street at the moment,” said Cllr Goodheart, who is a town and district council member, last week at the Joint Western Arun Area Committee.


“It works and it proves we can have an alternative road system in Bognor Regis should we look at closing the High Street.


“We could also use it for a one-way system. That could allow the High Street to be used for events or we could have them on the seafront.”


Cllr Goodheart said he was dismayed by the sight of buses waiting at the High Street stops.


“If you go into town, you can see two, three or four buses all parked in the street outside some of the town’s biggest shops,” he said.


He said he realised bus services around the town provided a big benefit to many residents but he believed it was not a good use of such a main road in the future.


District councillor Hugh Coster said: “With regards to the High Street, the only way we are going to prevent the cars being driven through is automatic bollards.


“This was suggested years ago when the work there was done but it was never carried out. No matter what signeage is put up, people will always abuse it.


“The only way is automatic bollards which will allow buses and taxes through but prevent the cars.


“I know it’s not Arun District Council’s responsibility and I know the county council will say it doesn’t have the money.


“But I still think it is the only long-term answer to getting the situation sorted.”


Cllr Matt Stanley, a town and district councillor, said: “I absolutely concur with what Steve Goodheart has said about the London Road/High Street junction.


“I see buses, taxis, cycles and cars going through there every single day when I am at work.


“The solution is there now. Belmont Street and York Road are working quite well every time they are closed.


“The idea of closing the High Street could really do with being explored further.”


For some five years, drivers of cars and vans have been banned from High Street between Sussex Street and York Road to improve the area for pedestrians.

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