BUILD a bridge on the A29 or the Bognor Regis area will die.
Felpham resident Dave Grinstead made the grim prediction at the annual meeting of the village conservation society.
He said the area could not stay with its current road network if it wanted to prosper.
“To get big businesses to come here, you have to have communications. If you are not prepared to do that, Bognor will stay exactly as it is now.
“I have two young daughters and the only way they will come back to Bognor is to have good jobs and good communications.
“The key to that is to get a bridge over the railway line at Woodgate,” he said at Monday’s annual meeting of the society.
“That is absolutely paramount. Until that is done, Bognor will get nowhere.Bognor has to get a north-south link.
“It is absolutely ridiculous that the only place around here you go under the railway line is at Barnham,” he added.
Ensuring a bridge is built to replace the Woodgate level crossing is among Arun District Council’s priorities to boost economic growth for the Bognor area.
Nigel Lynn, its chief executive, said: “We are looking at innovative ways of getting that road link north.
“We are looking at those options, though I’m not able to speak about them at the moment.
“But you are looking at a cost of about £11m-£12m.”
A bridge has been proposed in the past, but it could only have been achieved by allowing thousands of homes to be built to the alarm of residents in the Woodgate area.
New ways of financing projects are now becoming available to the district council.
These avenues have come to light because of changes brought in by the government.
The changes would allow local authorities to raise money without the need for the new housing.