A259 crash sparks fresh calls for improvements to 'treacherous junction'

A crash at a busy junction on the A259 has sparked fresh calls for potentially life-saving improvement works but motorists may need to wait for more than two years.

One man was taken to hospital after a two-vehicle crash at the Comet Corner junction last Thursday afternoon, leading to more calls for the authorities to act. Photo: Arun Police
One man was taken to hospital after a two-vehicle crash at the Comet Corner junction last Thursday afternoon, leading to more calls for the authorities to act. Photo: Arun Police

Residents have long complained about the ‘treacherous' Comet Corner junction, with a petition, set up to demand improvements in September last year, reaching more than 1,000 signatures.

One man was taken to hospital after a two-vehicle crash at the junction last Thursday afternoon (September 3), leading to more calls for the authorities to act.

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Following this incident, Elmer resident John Peachey wrote to the council, asking when action will be taken.

He said: “Two more cars written off, traffic backed up all the way to the Littlehampton roundabout, at least one ambulance and three police cars in attendance and several lives mucked up.

"I live in Elmer and every day I have to take my life in my hands to cross this treacherous junction.”

Concerns about the road come despite improvement works taking place in 2017, as part of a £550k scheme.

Mr Peachey, echoing the thoughts of a number of local residents, said West Sussex County Council has spent a ‘lot of money’ rearranging the junction ‘to no avail’.

“Those improvements went on for months doing those works and all it’s done is slightly increase the line of sight as you come from the Littlehampton direction,” he said.

“You can see more cars but that still doesn’t make a difference as they are doing more than 50mph.

"It’s the volume of traffic which makes it very difficult to pull out. We need a roundabout or traffic lights."

The county council said its feasibility study, for the A259 corridor between Flansham roundabout in the west and Wick roundabout in the east, is nearing completion.

Following this study, which includes Comet Corner among other junctions, the council will then ‘consider the next steps’ for the scheme, which may include a local consultation.

A spokesperson said: “If the scheme proceeds, then a business case will need to be prepared to access funding from the Department for Transport.

"We are working towards submitting a business case in spring 2023. Funding will be subject to demonstrating that the scheme is deliverable and will provide good value for money.”

Pamela Godfrey, who was involved in setting up the petition last year, is pleased with the proactive steps taken so far by the council.

She said: “Of course the money will be an issue for the final works but once budgets are available we can start lobbying. The council do appear to have put some resources behind this matter.”

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