Residents fear traffic chaos at new school

PLANS for Worthing’s new £13 million secondary school were unveiled this week.

Residents, parents and other interested parties gathered at Northbrook College’s Broadwater site on Tuesday for their chance to meet members of the project team from West Sussex County Council.

The new school, which will take 900 pupils and be sponsored by Durrington High School, is due to open in September 2015.

The three storey design will focus around the school hall and an atrium and will take inspiration from other Northbrook College developments.

Included in the detailed plan, which will be submitted for planning permission next month, is a sports hall with four courts and a multi-use games area, which is due to be completed in early 2016.

The main concerns of the residents that attended the open afternoon was the increase in volume of traffic, parking problems and safety.

Rebecca Rocheleau, a mother-of-three, of Queen Street, said: “I am worried about children being able to cross safely and I want to know what the plan is regarding parking in Queen Street.

“It is a busy road anyway and when this happens it is going to get busier and busier.

“This will be good for the whole town and it is what it wants but I still have concerns.”

Alison Taylor, of Cortis Avenue, added: “It is hard to even cross Queen Street at the moment and I think the area is just being overcrowded.

“It is the risk of injury to people that I am also worried about and I think a proper risk assessment needs to be done.

“I also wonder why they need another school here when you have St Andrew’s and Worthing High that are being developed.

“I think they will be better off looking somewhere else because the access to Queen’s Road car park will be very dangerous.”

The county council predicts that of the 900 pupils at the school, 30 per cent will be living within a mile and those within 1,600m will walk to school.

The remaining pupils will be encouraged to walk for part of the journey.

Project manager Leigh Hunnikin said: “There are concerns from residents about parking, dropping off at the school and the impact on the area.

“Our highways consultant has done a lot of work regarding where the children who are likely to come to the school will live by looking at historical evidence, and he has calculated that there will be no more than ten cars in each drop off area at any given time.

“We are also looking to start lessons at 8.15am to ease congestion, and there will be four drop off areas- Carnegie Road, Queen Street Car Park, the Northbrook College land and an area within the school site.”

Also included in the plans is a crossing over the entire width of Broadwater Road, which has four lanes.