Action plan to keep lights open backed

AN ACTION plan to keep a set of traffic lights used by residents operating has been backed by Felpham parish councillors.

The unanimous decision at last week’s meeting saw the members firmly side with the Leave Oving Lights Alone campaign.

The action plan proposes writing to the area’s MP Nick Gibb, signing an e-petition against the closure, raising the matter with residents and submitting comments in favour of a planning application to keep the lights.

The campaign has moved into its second phase with a planning application by Oving Parish Council to vary an earlier approval to close the traffic lights on the A27 as part of a 500-home development at Shopwyke Lakes.

Oving council chairman Sjoerd Schuyleman told Felpham’s meeting his council believed the lights’ closure would isolate the parish and add to the already congested A27 Chichester Bypass.

“The scheme that has been proposed has often been described as madness,” he said. “There is no rationale for it.”

The Highways Agency, which supported the lights’ removal, wanted to put a toucan crossing for pedestrians and cyclists in their place.

Cllr Michael Harvey said traffic on the A27 would still be stopped to allow buses and emergency vehicles to use the lights.

“As a hospital volunteer driver, I use the Oving lights as a way to St Richard’s Hospital quite a lot. Otherwise, it is a one-and-a-half mile detour.”

Cllr Mary Harvey said: “If the through traffic on the A27 is not being held at these lights, it is going to converge at a greater speed and density on the Bognor Road roundabout. That is already extremely dangerous and congested.”