Concern for new A29 route

CHANGING the route of the A29 will do little to help Bognor Regis, councillors have declared.

Bersted Parish Council said the proposed shift in the line of the important link would fail to provide the effective transport link required.

Councillors made their comments to Arun District Council as part of their response to the draft local plan land use blueprint.

The public consultation about the plan’s proposals up to 2029 ended this month.

A council spokesman said: “At the current time we are unable to give an exact figure of how many responses were received during the local plan consultation, as we haven’t finished processing the information yet.”

Bersted’s councillors decided their stance at their December meeting. Cllr Gill Yeates said: “The proposed A29 re-alignment will not provide the effective north-south route, nor is there good linkage to the A259 due to the fact it is shown to run through the village of Shripney which already has direct driveway access, rising accident rates, high speeds and the need for traffic calming.

“Additional HGV traffic plus access to Bognor from the 2,000-plus new homes directly to the north would undoubtedly cause many problems.

“When the road is closed due to accident or flooding, there are no viable diversion routes.

“Both events happen several times a year and will make a mockery of the Enterprise Zone being created directly to the south.”

One of Arun’s major policies in its current version of the plan is the creation of at least 2,000 homes in the Barnham, Eastergate and Westergate area.

This will pay for a new route for the A29, including a bridge over the railway line to replace the Woodgate level crossing.

Cllr Yeates said the A29’s re-alignment should be to the new roundabout created at the Salt Box Field to serve the proposed area to be developed by Enterprise@Bognor Regis for a business park.

“It is very short-sighted not to connect the A29 to the new roundabout created adjacent to this field rather than through the very limiting village of Shripney to the north,” she said.

She also outlined her concerns about the potential local development order for Enterprise@Bognor Regis and the need for higher levels of care when the environmentally sensitive nature of two sections of the area – Rowan Park and Salt Box Field – and their proximity to the Bersted Brooks local nature reserve was taken into account.

Cllr David Allsopp said: “The infrastructure has got to be right wherever they put housing.”