An upgrade to Yapton level crossing is set to require ten days of road closures starting from tomorrow (Friday).
It forms the second phase of works to convert the level crossing, notorious for near-misses, from a half barrier to a full barrier crossing controlled via CCTV.
A full road closure of North End Road is planned from 10pm on January 4 to 4am on January 14, with a signed diversion to be put in place.
Rail users also face disruption from the works. No trains will run through the crossing on Saturday, January 12, and Sunday, January 13, while works are completed.
Southern Rail is advising that rail replacement bus services will operate between Littlehampton and Chichester or Bognor Regis.
Engineering work is also showing between Chichester and Angmering ‘closing some lines’.
It follows the first part of upgrade works to the crossing in November that saw rail passengers complain of chaos as lines were closed between Arundel and Angmering in the east and Barnham in the west, affecting passengers to Littlehampton, Ford and those travelling across the south coast.
Network Rail has said the new barrier upgrade is a ‘vital improvement’ and is needed for safety reasons following instances of dangerous driving at the crossing, which is used by an estimated 8,000 vehicles and 300 trains every weekday.
Under the new system, the crossing will remain lowered for longer, with the average length of each closure sequence increasing from 59 seconds to two minutes and 48 seconds, or up to six minutes at peak times. Restrictions will also be changed to allow trains to pass at full speed.
West Sussex County Council has advised that access to properties will be maintained throughout the initial ten-day road closure of the B2132.
Overnight road closures are also planned from January 16 to January 18 to allow a tamping machine to pass through the crossing.
The road will be closed between the hours of 11pm and 5am.
Traffic will be diverted via Yapton Lane, A27, Fontwell Avenue, Eastergate Square, Nyton Road, Westergate Street, Lidsey Road, Shripney Road, Charles Purley Way, Worms Lane, Grevatts Lane, Yapton Road, Bilsham Road, Main Road and North End Road.
A spokesman for GTR, the parent company of Southern Rail, said its rail services would not be affected by the overnight works.