Bognor’s seafront road in line for improvements

Bognor Regis’ seafront road is set to benefit from improvements to link up with other investments being made to the town.

West Sussex County Council has agreed to take forward designs for sections of The Esplanade near to Place St Maur and The Regis Centre.

Better crossing facilities and landscape enhancements would improve connectivity between the town and beach, while the road could also be temporarily closed to through traffic for special short-term events in the future.

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Council officers said this would provide enhanced opportunities for business, tourism and the visitor economy.

The Esplanade, Bognor Regis, looking east towards The Regis Centre (Google Maps Streetview)

Their report said: “The Esplanade public realm improvements form a fundamental part of the Bognor Regis Seafront regeneration site.

“This includes the planned renovation and extension of Alexandra Theatre within the Regis Centre, that has recently been awarded Levelling Up Funding (LUF) and the adjacent Place St Maur public realm plaza project, currently on site, that received a contribution from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (C2C LEP).

“The co-ordination of Government grants and county council capital contributions will enable the town to ‘build back better’; recognise the significance of the Bognor Seafront area to West Sussex coastal town cultural, tourist and visitor attractions; and create new places to do business.

“These investments and interventions aim to help to alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on local businesses and the visitor economy.”

The aim of the project is to create attractive, sustainable and accessible public spaces, enhancing key areas linking the town centre to the seafront and improving the public realm landscape for residents and visitors to enjoy. Environmental improvements will support carbon reduction and renaturing of the town centre and seafront will make it a healthier place.

Another benefit would be encouraging more active travel such as walking and cycling.

A budget of £431,000 is required to complete the project’s design stage.

A full or seasonal road closure was rejected because according to officers it was not likely to be fully supported by the public and would take a considerable amount of time to progress with no guarantee of success, hence the recommended approach.