THREE central reservation traffic gaps in The Boulevard, Worthing, are to be closed on safety grounds.
The borough’s county local committee, comprising Worthing members of West Sussex County Council, made this decision on Monday night, despite being told that the gaps’ safety record in the last three years had been “exemplary”.
There are gaps between the roundabouts of Terringes Avenue and The Strand, used by traffic entering or leaving the side-road junctions of Nelson Road and Strathmore Road, and the busy petrol station/supermarket.
Members were told by officers: “Average daily two-way traffic flows are now in excess of 21,000 vehicles per day. This is a surprisingly high figure, but, fortunately, average vehicle speeds of 30mph and below have been recorded.”
The officers’ report said that over a five-year period, there were four slight severity and two serious severity accidents at the gaps, but there had been no injury accidents in the last three years.
“Recent traffic flow and speed data indicates an increase in traffic movements to such an extent that slower average vehicle speeds have been recorded.
“This fact, combined with the change of the garage into a garage/supermarket, may have had a positive impact on road safety. It may be the case that drivers now have a better perception of the hazards at the gap locations and take extra care.”
The report warned, however, that the closures would mean traffic being diverted on to the two roundabouts, which already had a history of personal accident injury.
”Therefore, the gap closures may increase the potential for conflict on the roundabouts,” said the report.
* Eleven objection letters, and two in favour, were received during consultations on the closures at the end of 2010, resulting in the local county councillor withdrawing his support.