Potential further improvements at junction on A259 after petition nears 1,000 signatures

Jacky Pendleton, Arun district and Middleton-on-Sea parish councillor, with Pamela Godrey and Terry Tindall from Elmer Sands residents group. Photo: Kate Shemilt. ks190498-4
Jacky Pendleton, Arun district and Middleton-on-Sea parish councillor, with Pamela Godrey and Terry Tindall from Elmer Sands residents group. Photo: Kate Shemilt. ks190498-4

The county council said it is working to 'address existing problems' along the A259 after a petition for improvements to the 'dangerous' Comet Corner junction topped 900 signatures.

Supported by Jacky Pendleton, Arun district and Middleton-on-Sea parish councillor, the Elmer Sands Residents group formed a plan back in September to urge the council to make improvements to a road 'fraught with danger'.

It came after West Sussex County Council revealed last year that funding required to deliver junction improvement works to Comet Corner and Oystercatcher was not received. Read more here

After the petition reached 957 signatures this week, this newspaper asked West Sussex County Council how it plans to respond.

A spokesperson said: "The county council has commissioned a study to identify a package of improvements to address existing problems along the A259 Bognor Regis/Littlehampton corridor.

"Further improvements to Comet Corner may be identified as part of the study, which is due to be completed in spring 2020. Later in the year, a bid for funding to deliver improvements identified by the study will be submitted to the government.

“We will update local stakeholders and residents in due course.”

According to Pamela Godrey, a member of the Elmer Sands Residents group, the petition she helped to set up is 'very much still live'.

She added: "We are still fighting away and we want people to sign if they haven't. We could reach 1,000 in a week.

"We have support from the Middleton and Yapton parish councils, who have spread the words in their newsletters, and we want to arrange meetings with West Sussex County Council. I want to tell them that the situation is getting more dire and ask what we can do.

"They have been talking about doing works between Flansham and Littlehampton for the last couple of years and nothing has happened yet. They need to look at the whole problem on the A259, not just one part of it.

"It's great news that they are building new warehouses in Ford, creating employment, but it does put heavy lorries through this tricky area."

Pamela suggested building a mini-roundabout, even it is only a 'temporary fix'.

She added: "That would allow it to be tested and make sure it works without the huge expense.

"Any changes will not be quickly implemented but Comet Corner is very dangerous and there are accidents all the time. It happens so regularly that it is not unusual.

"Fortunately there have been no fatalities but I feel it's only a matter of time."

Any improvements made to Comet Corner will not be the first in recent years. with the junction subject to work in 2017.

In what was a £550k scheme, the bend in Worms Lane was widened and there was an extension to the deceleration lane exiting the A259 into Worms Lane, along with upgraded drainage.

At the time, the county council said the project would make motorists ‘feel safer’ and improve visibility but residents felt it 'made the problem worse'.

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Click here to sign the petition.