Call for crossings on busy Shoreham road

Campaigners Andrew and Tamsin Holmes with their children trying to cross Old Shoreham Road S16615H14
Campaigners Andrew and Tamsin Holmes with their children trying to cross Old Shoreham Road S16615H14

RESIDENTS have been keen to support a new campaign to make a Shoreham road safer.

But many at a public meeting on Thursday voiced frustration that repeated calls for action over more than 20 years had so far fallen on deaf ears.

People living along the length of Old Shoreham Road say getting across the road safely is extremely difficult, particularly.

Parents Andrew and Tamsin Holmes called the public meeting at Swiss Gardens Primary School, with the help of East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton.

Joining the panel were Adur ward councillors Brian Coomber and Neil Parkin, Shoreham county councillor Debbie Kennard and PC Noel Simmons.

Mrs Holmes, who raised the issue with Mr Loughton at a street surgery, proposed two pelican crossings, one near Freehold Street and another at the northern end, near the Downs Link path.

She said: “A crossing near Freehold Street would help anyone doing the school run or trying to access the town.

“At the northern end, people want to access the riverbank. Lots of people have families, buggies, bikes and it is very hard getting to the riverbank.

“I have heard from residents that cars speed down from the A27. There are lots of blind spots and crossing the road is very hard.”

Mr Loughton accepted the issue had been looked at in the past but he was keen to agree an action plan with a view to finding a solution.

“There is a lot of interest in getting something done on this road,” he explained.

“This is not a new problem but it is becoming a bigger problem because the traffic is likely to increase because of the new developments.

“There have always been problems because it is a rather awkward-shaped road. Part of the hazard is not necessarily speed, I think the bigger hazard is cars parked along both sides, so you can’t be seen, particularly if you are crossing with children.”

He said the accident rate was actually quite low and the county council would take that into account.

Mr Loughton added: “The statistics for this road show that it is not a high priority for safety management, but we do know it is dangerous.”

PC Noel Simmons confirmed there had been no pedestrian injuries recorded by Sussex Police in the last nine years. There had been some collisions where vehicles and street furniture had been damaged, however.

Many residents were not impressed and several said their cars were regularly damaged, but they saw no point in reporting it to police.

Figures given showed the average speed was 27mph in 2011, with around five per cent travelling over 34mph.

The issue was the constant flow of traffic travelling at those speeds, meaning it was difficult to find a gap to cross, and the number of lorries using the route, despite there being a separate designated lorry route, via Southwick.

It was agreed a working group would be set up to co-ordinate the campaign and a meeting with highways specialists arranged.

Mr Loughton said he would talk to businesses at Shoreham Port about lorry movements and residents were asked to encourage neighbours to fill in surveys that would be going out soon, which would be more effective than a petition.