THE ‘LUNACY’ of scrapping the Oving traffic lights has been highlighted again as a bid to keep them open gathers momentum.
Oving Parish Council’s campaign group LOLA (Leave Oving Lights Alone) has been rallying support from the Chichester and Arun districts to retain the A27 crossroad between the Portfield and Bognor roundabouts.
As it stands, the Oving traffic lights will be scrapped in the next few years as part of the 500-home development at Shopwyke Lakes by Hanbury Properties.
However, Oving Parish Council has submitted its own planning application in recent weeks that could see the lights retained.
Bersted Parish Council, near Bognor Regis, backed Oving’s battle, calling on all councillors to support the plan.
“It does seem obvious this will affect all of us,” said chairman Cllr Brian Knight.
Cllr John Potter, the chairman of Bersted’s planning, amenities and environment committee, was also against the plan to scrap the crossroad, used by many people from Bognor Regis to get into Chichester.
“The whole thing is complete lunacy. The more I think about this, the loonier it becomes.”
He referred to a new link road due to be opened shortly, bypassing Bognor Regis to decrease journey times along the A259.
“When we get our new road, which has been three years under construction, to speed up the traffic from Littlehampton to Chichester, all that is going to happen is the dual carriageway from the Bognor bridge roundabout to Drayton will be solid every morning and afternoon,” he said.
Oving Parish Council chairman Sjoerd Schuyleman and his fellow councillors have visited several parishes to gain their support.
Speaking just before a meeting of Tangmere Parish Council on July 10, he said: “Our support has been incredible. This year’s a very different campaign. Last year we were objectors. This year we’re applicants.”
The following parish councils have all been ‘enthusiastic’ of LOLA’s campaign, according to Cllr Schuyleman: Aldingbourne and Westergate, Eastergate, Barnham, Bognor Town, Aldwick, Felpham, North Mundham, Chichester City, Boxgrove and Tangmere, as well as the Lavant Valley Partnership.
Chichester District Council has given Oving extra time to submit a traffic study, before it validates the application.
Tangmere supported the call for action on Thursday.
“I’m sure we will express our support for your strategy,” said chairman Andrew Irwin. “I tend to agree with you that you’ve got some chance.”
A petition is also available at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/65425.
Also visit www.ovingcommunity.co.uk for more information.