New Felpham mini roundabout’s design ‘dangerous’ and ‘flawed’

ks190515-5 Felpham Roundabout  phot kate'Councillors Elaine Stainton, left, and Gill Madeley by the new road layout in Felpham.ks190515-5 SUS-190917-184830008
ks190515-5 Felpham Roundabout phot kate'Councillors Elaine Stainton, left, and Gill Madeley by the new road layout in Felpham.ks190515-5 SUS-190917-184830008

The design of a new mini roundabout in Felpham has been labelled ‘dangerous’ and ‘flawed’ by two district councillors.

West Sussex County Council completed the roundabout at the junction of Summerley Lane and Felpham Way in the spring.

ks190515-1 Felpham Roundabout  phot kate'Councillors Elaine Stainton, left, and Gill Madeley by the new road layout in Felpham.ks190515-1 SUS-190917-184726008

ks190515-1 Felpham Roundabout phot kate'Councillors Elaine Stainton, left, and Gill Madeley by the new road layout in Felpham.ks190515-1 SUS-190917-184726008

But there have been several accidents since then and the area’s two district councillors have received numerous complaints about its safety from residents.

Elaine Stainton, who represents Felpham West at Arun, has lived in Summerley Lane for nearly 40 years. She labelled the roundabout a ‘waste of money’ and an ‘absolute disaster’.

Both she and fellow Arun councillor Gill Madeley have asked county council officers to visit the site and are calling for changes to be made but feel they are being ignored.

They believe the give-way line on the Summerley Lane arm of the roundabout is too far back, leading to poor visibility looking eastwards for drivers turning out, and also want more signs.

Meanwhile the opening of the Felpham relief road removed the need for the roundabout in the first place.

One Summerley Lane resident, who is a surveyor by profession, described how the roundabout had been well built but to a ‘poor specification’.

He said the reduced sightlines mean that motorists exiting Summerley Lane have only 20 to 25 metres visibility looking right and have to inch out on to the roundabout.

He also suggested some drivers heading eastwards were not giving way as they are sometimes not aware they are approaching a roundabout until it is too late to stop because of the lack of signage.

The latest accident between two cars happened on Saturday night.

Mrs Stainton is concerned that a fatal accident could happen and described how residents were calling the roundabout ‘lethal’ and a ‘nightmare’.

She and Mrs Madeley are both receiving complaints even though highways are the responsibility of the county council and not Arun District Council.

Mrs Stainton added: “The whole thing is flawed and wrong.”

Mrs Madeley labelled the roundabout ‘dangerous’, adding: “Can the county council respond to this and tell us what they intend to do before there is a fatal accident?”

In response a county council spokesman said: “A mini roundabout has been installed to make it easier for drivers turning out of Summerley Lane and to help break up the flow of traffic on the B2259. This should help reduce congestion on local roads. The changes also included improving the crossing points for pedestrians.

“The decision to go ahead with the scheme was taken by county councillors at the Joint Western Arun Area Committee on 31 October 2018 who decided that on balance the scheme would be beneficial.

“We have received no reports of significant road traffic collisions here but understand smaller incidents have taken place

“Since the roundabout was completed, officers have identified a number of improvements to make the road safer including installing additional signs and road markings. Contractors are due to do this work very soon.

“We would like to remind drivers to take the usual care and attention and to look carefully before pulling out onto the roundabout.”