Meeting in campaign for safer conditions

A PART-TIME loading bay and a brighter crossing have been included in an action plan for a Bognor Regis road.

The morning-only parking space for lorries and the shading to highlight a Belisha beacon along Aldwick Road were two ideas from a campaign meeting of its businesses chaired by MP Nick Gibb.

Nic Turner, the manager of the road’s Tesco Express, said: “If part of the parking bay could become a loading bay from 6am to midday, it would move my lorries out of the way.

“It could be used by lorries for any of the businesses along here. After midday, the bay could still be used for parking and carry on as it is now.”

He told last Friday’s meeting how the store’s deliveries had been re-timed and merged to reduce the number of lorries which visited it.

Alternative waiting areas were also being used when two lorries arrived at once to stop them double parking outside the store.

The shading for the beacon was suggested by Mr Gibb after those at the meeting believed an inability to see it led to dangerous conditions for pedestrians on the crossing.

Lou Partridge, a creative arts instructor with the Aldingbourne Trust which hosted the session last Friday, said: “The biggest problem for us is the crossing for ourselves and our clients.

“Some drivers are going too fast and have to come to a halt when you are halfway across and other drivers have to do the same on the other side of the road because they haven’t seen you. This is a 30mph area but some drivers are going at up to 50mph.

“They need to be told this a community area with a lot of shops and people going about their lives. It should be made a 20mph zone.”

Stella Darcy, 66, has learning disabilities and lives with L’Arche Bognor Regis. She walks regularly from her home to its workshop on Aldwick Road.

She said about the traffic using the road: “People drive too fast. They need to cut their speed.

“I need to cross the road quickly, because people don’t stop. Terrible, isn’t it?”

Town councillor Pat Dillon said: “Trying to slow the traffic down is the biggest single issue to make it safer for people and trying to educate people where and when they can park so Tesco can still have their deliveries and people can still use the shops.”

Greg Merrett, West Sussex County Council’s principal community officer, said it could be possible to arrange for a slow down board and a community speed watch campaign to be set up along Aldwick Road.

He would also discuss the part-time loading bay and the brighter beacon with the council’s traffic engineers.

“I very much support the work the Aldingbourne Trust is doing and want to be as co-operative and helpful as I can be,” he said.