COMMUTERS around Bognor Regis are set to regain up to five hours a week after a new road opens next week.
The long-awaited 3km relief road will connect the A259 at Flansham with the A29 at Shripney via the biggest viaduct in coastal West Sussex, over the railway line and the Lidsey Rife.
It will open next Friday and its builder, Barratt Homes, believes it will save commuters an hour a day compared with their current journey along the congested Felpham Way and Upper Bognor Road.
The road has cost Barratt £28m and was a condition of the planning permission it received for almost 800 homes on what was known as part of the site six housing estate, now called Blakes Mead.
Barratt Homes managing director Tim Hill said the opening would have a major impact on motorists in the area.
“We are delighted that commuters, in particular, will see real benefits every single day,” he said. “Our aim is to create the best possible place for people to live, work and enjoy themselves and the relief road will help us to do exactly that.
“Freeing up traffic in the area will not only give commuters more time and a less stressful journey to work, but it will also help to boost regeneration and economic growth,” he said.
Barratt mascot Billy Barratt has been out and about talking to residents about the new single carriageway road and the extra time they will have when it opens.
Commuter Chris Richards Wright, of Felpham, said: “I’m looking forward to saving time on my commute home from Portsmouth every day.”
Sam Pasterfield said: “I don’t have far to travel to work but I’m really looking forward to the reduced traffic through Felpham.”
It was 50 years ago the line of a Bognor bypass, to the south of Flansham, was approved by West Sussex County Council. The route was moved north of Flansham the next year by a government inspector.
The county revived the plans in 1990, with the western section between Shripney and South Bersted, agreed. It was expected the road would be built in 1997/98 but government backing failed to arrive and it took the approval of the site six housing in North Bersted and Felpham some ten years ago to turn the plans into reality.
The North Bersted section of the relief road opened in December 2014. The Felpham half was due to open last summer but has been delayed with bad weather given as a reason. The road is part of a group of community projects.
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