VOTE: Bognor motorists and pedestrians miss out on a multi-million-pound handout

Road users around Bognor Regis have missed out on a multi-million-pound handout.

The motorists and pedestrians are the only ones in the county to be denied the chance to benefit from the cash for highways schemes.

Places such as Chichester, Horsham and Haywards Heath will all gain from the £2.24m cash injection from West Sussex County Council announced in the past week.

Projects such as pedestrian crossings, community transport services and interactive speed limit signs are being backed with the money.

The Bognor area has been ignored because Arun District Council stands alone in its refusal to sign up to a county council initiative which forces developers to pay towards highway schemes for each parking space they provide.

District and county councillor Simon McDougall (Bersted) called on Arun to change its stance to stop motorists suffering from poor roads.

The district council’s opposition to the contributions failed to stand up to scrutiny because the six other district and borough councils around West Sussex backed the scheme.

“It would appear that by not signing up to the scheme, local residents are being disadvantaged by Arun,” he said.

“On close examination, the scheme has generated over £2m and is leading to major highways schemes being implemented as a result.

“For instance, we could have had several roads resurfaced in the district had we been in the scheme.

“Roads like Marshall Avenue are in desperate need of resurfacing. Yet the county council does not have the funds available.

“The ‘grasscrete’ scheme for Whiteways, which I have raised on numerous occasions, where the local grass verges are turned into mud every winter, is another prime example of a scheme in urgent need of implementation.

“These are just two examples of the potential work that could have been carried out to the benefit of local residents if Arun had joined this scheme.”

The method by which the county council takes money from developers for providing parking spaces is known as total access demand (TAD).

It applies to commercial and residential schemes and is set at £900 for each occupant or worker provided with a parking space and £450 for each person without a space, based on average occupancy levels.

An Arun spokeswoman said it opposed the TAD approach. “Arun has taken the position that taxing parking spaces discourages planning applicants from providing sufficient off-street parking spaces which leads to a consequential increase in on-street parking, often on already congested roads.

“Arun would reconsider its stance on TAD if the county council, as the highways authority, changed its parking policy,” she said.

“However, we would have to be convinced any money coming forward under TAD was used for the improvements of roads for all road users equally.”

A county council spokeswoman said: “TAD has been operating for a number of years in all districts, except Arun, and does secure significant sums and hence allows a number of schemes to progress.

“It is unfortunate Arun District Council do not operate TAD and hence funds are not secured.”