More students could bring Felpham to a ‘standstill’

Artist's impression of the new digital at Chichester University, Bognor campus
Artist's impression of the new digital at Chichester University, Bognor campus

EXPANSION plans for more students could bring Felpham to a standstill, a councillor has warned.

Cllr Paul English said the University of Chichester’s proposals to increase its number of undergraduates had the potential to jam the A259 Felpham Way.

Initial plans from the university show a new entrance on the A259 about halfway between Butlin’s and the Arun Leisure Centre.

But Cllr English told Felpham Parish Council last week he feared for the future of traffic in the area if the idea went ahead.

“I wonder if they want to bring Felpham to a complete standstill by putting the entrance almost opposite our allotments for a hundred vehicles plus a day and close off all the other entrances and exits.

“If this happens, we won’t be needing any traffic mitigation schemes because Felpham will be a complete standstill between 7.30 and 9.30 every morning because I don’t know how on earth we are going to get students in and out of this area.

“It’s absolutely scandalous yet again that there have been discussions about this year for over a year and yet nobody from the county council has had the nous to come to this parish council and discuss one iota of this in relation to what they think they are going to put in there.”

As reported, the university wants to build an engineering and digital technology park at the campus.

Romy Jones, of the university, recently told the parish council it had been working with the county council’s highways department to reach a solution to the extra traffic which had the least impact on residents and complied with safety needs.

“Until this work is complete, we will not know what form the entrance will take and what the mitigations will be,” she said.

It was expected just over 1,000 extra students would be based at the campus by the 2021/22 academic year or the following year compared to 1,200.

Felpham county councillor Graham Jones said the proposal was still being discussed. Planning permission for the centre would be a matter for Arun District Council and would be subject to consultation.

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