Shoppers urged to back bans in precinct

SHOPPERS have been urged to show their support for making a precinct traffic-free.

The consultation about a daytime ban on vehicles along the London Road precinct in Bognor lasts until Thursday next week.

As reported, West Sussex County Council is proposing six measures to create a friendlier place for pedestrians to do their shopping.

The precinct was improved in a £600,000-plus project last year.

There are concerns the continued use of the precinct by delivery drivers and some blue badge car owners, in spite of a temporary ban, is damaging the new surface as well as putting shoppers at risk.

“All the local authorities have worked together to deliver the new precinct, and all the councils are supporting the change to properly pedestrianise the precinct,” said Ashwin Patel, the county councillor for Bognor west and Aldwick.

“We would like to hear from anyone who would like this to happen.”

As well as the new paving, the improvement work in the precinct included creating a new layout and installing new street furniture.

The Dickensian market and the Christmas lights switch on, towards the end of last year, were just some of the successful events which being held in the precinct 
to draw big crowds and shoppers who also supported traders in the area.

Town centre manager Toyubur Rahman said: “Thanks to the new precinct, we can now hold markets and events of a size and quality that attract people to come to the town.”

He is considering organising a market to celebrate Easter.

However, many people have complained about the number of cars and vans driving along and parking in the precinct.

Surveys of the public and traders have shown people are strongly in favour of reducing traffic and making the precinct safe for pedestrians.

Trevor Bence, the chairman of Arun District Council’s Bognor regeneration sub-committee, said: “This is spoiling people’s visits to the town and, in some cases, damaging the new paving.

“Some of the people driving in the precinct are blue badge holders. While we recognise this an inconvenience for you, you can pick up a map detailing nearby accessible parking.”

Details of parking in the town for disabled drivers can be obtained from Bognor Regis Town Hall and the Shopmobility charity in the Regis Centre car park.

As well as the 9am-5pm traffic ban, the proposed changes are to ban loading and unloading in the precinct between the same times daily. Waiting will also be forbidden at any time.

Loading and unloading will also be stopped on lengths of the double yellow lines on Bedford Street.

n Anyone who would like to share their views can visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/tro