Hasn’t got a hope

A couple of weeks ago I wondered what big idea Arun’s cabinet would attempt to force-feed to the people of Bognor Regis next – well now we have the answer, a level crossing bypass for the A29 at Woodgate that hasn’t got a hope of working!

On the surface it sounds like a good idea, but with Arun’s big ideas it always pays to look beneath the surface.

Any development at this location (which will be necessary to fund the road) is instantly flawed because of the additional traffic that will be caused by the development itself. A development of 2,230 houses located between Bognor Regis and the A27 could bring up to 3,345 extra vehicles onto the A29 (based on 1.5 cars per household). These extra vehicles will be located slap-bang between Bognor Regis and the A27.

The indicative line of the Woodgate bypass on Arun’s proposals map starts at a roundabout near Headhone Farm (no attempt to resolve the dangerous Lidsey bends) and joins the B2233 at ‘Barnham roundabout’ (to create one of Arun’s now customary doglegs).

That’s two new roundabouts so far – keep counting! Then, how will the residents of 2,230 new houses join the new road – more roundabouts perhaps? Did any Arun councillor ask that simple question in any of their secret meetings? (they certainly haven’t in public). What was the answer? Will they share it with the public or is it private?

The A29 junction with the A27 at Fontwell already struggles to cope, with large queues forming at peak times – particularly on the A29. How will it cope if there are about 3,345 extra cars only one mile away?

A27 through traffic, using the Fontwell roundabout, traverses it at such speed that it can be extremely hazardous for traffic joining the flow from the A29 at peak times. The added problem of the adverse camber means there are regular accidents here with large vehicles overturning. For safety reasons we need less pressure at this junction not more!

Is the replacement of one level crossing with perhaps five new roundabouts, and around 3,345 extra cars feeding in to them, an improvement on the current situation?

It will almost certainly make access to/from Bognor Regis worse! Arun must demonstrate to residents in Bognor Regis and Eastergate/Barnham/Westergate, with hard evidence and not smoke and mirrors, that there is some genuine improvement on offer. Has Arun made any attempt to model this scenario? Where can we, the public, read the findings?

This is Arun’s latest big idea for Bognor Regis – and like most of Arun’s big ideas it offers little prospect of genuine improvement. As usual, the people of Bognor Regis are being sold a pup!

Tony Dixon

Barons Close,

Westergate