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Readers have their say on Grove Lodge

WH 020614 Grove Lodge roundabout end of Offington Avenue. David Wakelin launched a petition to turn the lights off at the Grove Lodge roundabout, Worthing, to ease congestion. Pictured beside one of the temporary 'lights not working' signs. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140206-131238001

WH 020614 Grove Lodge roundabout end of Offington Avenue. David Wakelin launched a petition to turn the lights off at the Grove Lodge roundabout, Worthing, to ease congestion. Pictured beside one of the temporary 'lights not working' signs. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-140206-131238001

VIEWS on proposals to turn off traffic lights at a congested A27 roundabout have been flooding in as a commuter’s petition tipped the 500 signature mark.

Last week, the Herald reported how motorists had experienced less delays after a technical fault left the lights at the Grove Lodge roundabout off for several days.

David Wakelin, 28, of Harting Road, Littlehampton, started a petition to keep the lights off permanently and has now seen more than 500 supporters back his cause.

Writing in support, Donovan Brown, of Hurston Close, Worthing, said: “I do hope the current lack of traffic lights will continue indefinitely.

“It’s lovely to be able to drive round that part of Worthing without the traffic jams.”

Harry O’Brien, of Lime Tree Avenue, Findon Valley, believes the lights could be wasting millions of pounds of motorists’ money each year.

He said: “A Government report for 2002 indicated that up to 40,000 vehicles per day use the A27 between Offington and Grove Lodge roundabouts, which equates to 14.6 million per annum.

“Assuming that each vehicle is held up for an average of 10 minutes and a conservative estimate of lost ‘productive’ costs is £20 per hour, the total cost to the economy of switching on the Grove Lodge roundabouts lights is over £48 million per annum.”

Readers responded in numbers online, too.

Ginny Santer, on Facebook, said: “I avoid Grove Lodge like the plague on the way to work but have been through a couple of times over the past couple of weeks and noticed an improvement.

“I’m not sure what it’s like at 8am when the college is open but maybe the lights could be changed to peak time only?”

Not everyone is for the idea, though, with Worthing College student Jacob Pennels claiming it would be ‘dangerous’ to turn them off.

Students like Mr Pennels use the crossing daily to get to and from the college, in Sanditon Way.

He said: “I have used the roundabout almost every day on the way to college and without these lights there is no way I would have made this journey in one piece.

“Turning off the lights would be a ridiculous idea.”

Mr Pennels believes a new crossing would have to be built if the lights were turned off to ensure safety of students and staff.

He added: “Unless an alternative crossing is constructed, the lights need to stay on, or it will only be a matter of time before a student is hit by a speeding driver.

“Who would rather get to their destination quicker than the wellbeing of the 1600+ students and staff at the college.”

Martin Collins added removing the lights would create a ‘death trap’.

 

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