A259 Littlehampton to Bognor improvements: ‘Roundabouts won’t solve issues’

I read with interest your lead article and letter from Abbie Howard on the future developments to the A259 and particularly the Littlehampton to Bognor stretch, writes reader Simon Gibson, of Rope Walk, Littlehampton.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 3:11 pm
Location of proposed improvements to the A259 between Bognor Regis and Littlehampton

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A259 Bognor to Littlehampton improvements: how can you have your say?

I totally agree with Abbie on the importance of the A259 as an east/west route from Eastbourne to Chichester and beyond but like all the decisions taken regarding our highways, nobody seems to look at the overall picture, only their local ‘agenda’.

Let’s just look locally at the other lead story in the Gazette last week, the government funding of £11.8million to complete the northern section of the Lyminster bypass. While this will alleviate the hold-ups at the Lyminster crossing it will do nothing to alleviate problems with the A259 through Littlehampton. All the time that the Lyminster bypass is fed into the existing ‘bottleneck’ at Crossbush and no decision is taken over the A27 Arundel bypass it will just move the existing problems from the Morrisons Wick roundabout to the new roundabout being constructed on the Fitzalan corridor out of the town’s crossing with the A259.

I now come to my big gripe. With today’s volume and speed of traffic, roundabouts are not the answer. The driver today has two choices – take your life in your hands or sit there forever. As a result they will always cause ‘bottlenecks’ during peak times.

To add more on the Littlehampton-Bognor stretch will not cure the problem, just make it worse.

As with the existing A27 Chichester bypass the problem is not the road but the roundabout junctions that cause the bottlenecks!

So let’s think ‘outside’ the box. Instead of multiple roundabouts the real answer is for the main through road to have an overpass with a smaller roundabout underneath to handle the north/south and joining traffic with proper lead in/out slip lanes.

Just build two of these on this stretch of the road say at the Comet Corner and Church Lane junctions.

Now make all additional junctions ‘left-turn’ only coming in and out of the A259 with ‘lead in/off lanes.

As a resident of the West Bank and having Ferry Road as my only access I know that a roundabout here would do nothing to help my access during peak times when the westbound traffic is ‘nose to tail’ and the ‘give way to the right’ rule applies.