Campaign to cut death toll on Pagham road

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Action has been demanded by Pagham’s councillors to cut the death toll on the area’s main road.

The parish council members have launched a campaign to improve safety on the B2166 Pagham Road.

The route to and from Chichester has been the scene of several fatalities and numerous near-misses in recent years, with its twists and turns and 60mph speed limit creating potentially dangerous conditions.

Cllr Nathan Dellicott, who is the farming director of Barfoots of Botley at Sefter Farm, showed the council’s highways and amenities committee on Tuesday, photographs of a car which had recently ended up among one of his crops.

He said: “That was in the broad bean field and, if the car had been five metres to the right, it would have gone through ten pickers.

“The human cost of that would have been incalculable. I don’t want to go out and pick anybody up.”

Two fatalities had occurred opposite the entrance to the farm’s driveway in recent years and another, more recently, to the north.

Accidents occurred on that stretch of the road every wet day after a prolonged spell, he said.

The committee agreed to seek a lower speed limit of 40mph between the entrance to Pagham and The Walnut Tree Inn in Runcton. They also want more signs installed to warn motorists of the double bends and twists and turns of the road.

Further aspects they want to see considered are the road’s surfacing, improved visibility splays around the Sefter Road junction and the closeness of drainage ditches to the roadside.

The demands will be given to the area’s county councillor, Michael Coleman, who chairs the West Sussex highways sub committee, for its next meeting on September 7.

Highways and amenities committee chairman Colin Doherty said: “We will give Michael Coleman and his sub-committee the chance to look at this when we put to them what the problems are and what we think needs to be done.

“If that does not have the desired effect, then that is the time to bring in extra support.”

A lot of the safety concerns around the Sefter Road junction concerned the blind spots as motorists turned into and from Pagham Road.

Cllr Ed Blackburn said: “It’s not just one little area of the road where we have a problem. We have different hotspots all along the way.”