Buses ‘going slower’ through Bognor High Street

The newly paved High Street has been a shared space for buses and pedestrians since opening in June
The newly paved High Street has been a shared space for buses and pedestrians since opening in June

Buses are now driving through Bognor High Street ‘much slower’ and giving way to pedestrians, a council said.

However, district councillor for Bognor, Paul Wells said some are still ‘motoring through’ the newly paved, semi-pedestriansed space.

Following safety fears and scores of people saying they either saw or were involved in near misses with buses since the revamped High Street reopened, temporary red signs have been put in place warning shoppers that buses also use the area.

West Sussex County Council said pedestrians were the priority and buses should be stopping and giving way.

A council spokesman said additional signs were also being installed to ‘reinforce the warning to bus drivers’, and that a routine, full safety audit will be completed in the coming weeks. He said any further measures will be considered as part of any arising recommendations.

The spokesman said: “There has been an on-going dialogue with bus operators about safety and it has been significantly noticeable in recent days that buses are driving much slower through the pedestrian area.

“Buses are now stopping for pedestrians when necessary, and approaching the zone with headlights and hazard lights on. Pedestrians are the priority in this shared space as they are the vulnerable user and the onus is on bus drivers to drive carefully.”

Cllr Wells, Arun councillor for Bognor, however, believes the area is still unsafe, and is again calling for the buses to be re-routed away from the High Street.

He said: “They are still motoring through there, I watched one driving at high speed the other day.

“Some drivers are adhering to the policy (of going slowly) but some are driving through at ridiculous speeds for the conditions really. As I have said before, the only way to make it safe is to take the buses out of the equation completely by re-routing them.”

An Observer online poll showed that 88 per cent think it is an accident about to happen, and of more than 200 people who voted, 66 per cent agree with cllr Wells that the buses should be directed elsewhere.

Take the poll here

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