There is a short item in the Observer this week (June 1) which states that the recent temporary closure of Shopwyke Road had provided a ‘glimpse of the future’ for when the Oving crossing is closed permanently.
That is not correct because this recent exercise was carried out during a week of school holidays when traffic in this area is greatly reduced. The temporary closure certainly caused a great deal of chaos and prolonged traffic delays but they were nothing compared to the problems that will arise if the Oving crossing is permanently closed and the many thousands of vehicles which, in normal circumstances, pass through Shopwyke Road each day have to join the melee at the already congested Bognor Road and Portfield roundabouts.
One driver was horrified when she asked how she could get to Westbourne House and I explained that she would have to make a three-mile detour around the bypass and Bognor roundabout, Bognor Road to Merston roundabout and then along Drayton Lane, and through the notoriously delaying railway crossing.
And what is the reason for this proposed closure? Because Cala Homes have planned a junction for their new houses to join the A27 and Highways England decided that there would be too many junctions a short distance apart. So the people, who have for many years used the ancient right of way to travel safely between Oving Road and Shopwyke Road (and I am not just talking about local residents) will have to suffer for the benefit of the incomers, most of whom will undoubtedly be retiring here from London and the Home Counties.
I ask the question, why are Cala Homes allowed to dictate where their new roads should exit the estate? Why can’t they exit onto the existing Shopwyke Road and use the Oving crossing like so many others? If the crossing is closed, I think we can guarantee that there will be many, many more accidents on the A27 and many, many very frustrated drivers.