A business owner fears more ‘traffic chaos’ is on the way for Shoreham as eight weeks of roadworks commenced on Monday.
Mike Bellamy, of Beach Road in Shoreham Beach, said delays caused by the works in Brighton Road would impact both commuters and business owners in the High Street.
“Traders in the town will undoubtedly suffer a reduction in sales because many customers will not be prepared to get stuck in the jams to get to and from Shoreham and will start to shop elsewhere, some of them never to return,” he said.
“Do we need this sort of further threat to the viability of high street shopping with currently four empty shops in this high street?”
The roadworks, which are being carried out by Landbuild Ltd on behalf of a developer, will include the construction of pedestrian footpaths and pedestrian crossing facilities – which a West Sussex County Council spokesman said would benefit the local community.
The scheme comes shortly after road repairs by Norfolk Bridge left Shoreham ‘totally gridlocked’ and brought ‘absolute misery’ to commuters, according to councillor Joss Loader.
Mr Bellamy, who owns Lancing Marine in Portslade, a business which sells parts for marine engines all over the world, said he will pass the new roadworks everyday twice a day to get to work and back.
The works will require temporary traffic lights in multiple phases, including four way off peak lights for around a week, which Mr Bellamy said would be ‘absolutely crazy’.
“They just don’t think about the convenience of the travelling public,” he said.
However Richard Finn, director of Landbuild Ltd, which is carrying out the works on behalf of WN Developments, said the team would ‘strive to complete the works as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible with a focus on keeping the impact on local infrastructure to a minimum’.
He confirmed the phasings would also involve two way off-peak traffic lights for two days and two way 24-hour lights for two weeks.
Mr Finn said the time that traffic will be under signal control would be minimised in order to maintain flow and minimise disruption to road users.
When the traffic is signal controlled, there will be a man controlling flows through the peak times ‘again to minimise queuing and delay’, he said.
A West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “Our Street Works team tries to plan and coordinate all activities that require road space – such as for utility companies’ emergency works, or home building by developers - to minimise disruption as much as possible.
“Unfortunately, sometimes inconvenience is unavoidable, and we can only apologise for this.
“Across West Sussex, the Street Works team faces more and more difficult challenges in managing the road network, due to the sheer amount of home building and other development taking place and we have a duty to facilitate these works in a timely manner so that planning conditions can be met.”