Call for action at ‘deadly’ junctions

The busy Comet Corner junction

Picture by Louise Adams C140272-2 Bog Mar6 Headlines SUS-140303-153303001

The busy Comet Corner junction Picture by Louise Adams C140272-2 Bog Mar6 Headlines SUS-140303-153303001

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How many people will die at ‘deadly’ junctions between Bognor Regis and Littlehampton before significant improvements are made?

That was the question put to county councillors last week by one of hundreds of residents concerned about the Oystercatcher and Comet Corner junctions of the A259.

Bognor Regis Civic Society deputy chairman Hugh Coster told the joint western Arun area committee that heavy peak-time traffic meant motorists had just seconds to emerge onto the junctions.

West Sussex County Council has pencilled in works to improve visibility at Comet Corner next year – but further action appears unlikely.

“Unfortunately there are areas in the county that have worse accident data at the moment and we don’t have the funding to deal with all sites across the county,” Ben Whiffin, county council district highway manager told Mr Coster last Wednesday.

Mr Coster noted extra pressure on the stretch since the Bognor Regis Relief Road opened, while hundreds of homes expected to be built in the coming years would strain matters further.

He said: “I want to get this onto the county council radar so something is started now, otherwise it’s going to be years before anything happens. How many people are going to die?”

The call for action follows separate pleas from residents.

Westergate resident Tony Dixon petitioned cabinet member for highways and transport, John O’Brien, to experience the junctions daily for two weeks.

It came in response to a number of series accidents in recent years.

In response, Mr O’Brien appeared to sidestep the petition’s call – but he insisted he was aware of the issue. He said the council was ‘not complacent’.

He said: “At both junctions we have we have lowered the speed limits, introduced high friction anti-skid surfacing, installed vehicle activated junction warning signs and significantly cleared vegetation to help improve visibility for motorists.

“We are also are planning a further improvement scheme for the Comet Corner junction to improve visibility for motorists and to help cyclists and pedestrians.”

Two fatal accidents have occurred at the Oystercatcher junction in the past two and a half years.