Fears construction of Lyminster Bypass will cause an increase in traffic

Lyminster & Crossbush Parish Council has welcomed the ‘long overdue’ delivery of the northern section of Lyminster Bypass, but has raised concerns over an increase in traffic.

Earlier this month, the government announced £11.8m of funding had been granted to construct the northern section of the bypass, which, it said, will provide better access to Littlehampton and quicker journeys in the area.

However, Dan Montagnani, chairman of the parish council, said: “While Lyminster & Crossbush Parish Council welcomes the delivery of the long overdue ‘Lyminster Bypass’ and the government funding secured to deliver this, we would temper some of the enthusiasm expressed on this matter recently with pragmatism and reality.

“The proposed northern section of this to be delivered by West Sussex County Council actually rejoins the existing A284 Lyminster Road 600m south of the Crossbush Interchange. Therefore, residents living along this section will actually have to tolerate an increase in traffic as a result of the scheme.

The road will link a new junction on the A259 in Littlehampton to the A284 just south of the A27 at Crossbush. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

“Aside from the impact on residents it is also worth considering that this narrow section of road with a narrow pavement on one side only, with fast moving traffic entering and leaving the A27 will potentially become even more hazardous for pedestrians and cyclists as a result of the scheme.”

Mr Montagnani said while the bypass will include a dedicated cycle lane, when rejoining the narrow section of old road there will be nothing but a choice between a narrow pavement and narrow carriageway.

And this effective pinch point will also sustain the separation between communities in Lyminster and Crossbush and it will not serve to connect our coast to our national park – a big opportunity entirely missed, he added.

He also raised concerns over the timescale and funding of the scheme, which he described as a ‘disappointment’.

“Only now is the southern section of this bypass being delivered by the developers while the northern section has not even started,” said Mr Montagnani.

“Why is it also that funding from government rather than the developers is required for the northern section and that funding level then results in just a partial bypass full of compromises?

“We are pleased that after so many years of bypass discussion, that we do seem to be nearing the point of actually delivering something – but it is far from ideal.

“The timing and level of funding secured from the developers through the planning process by Arun District Council working in collaboration with WSCC has not delivered a good outcome for the wider community of Arun District.”

He said the parish council’s hope was there will be some level of connected thinking between Highways England delivering the A27 Arundel Bypass and the county council in terms of the A284 Bypass and how these schemes connect.

Mr Montagnani added: “Maybe this could facilitate a solution to the pinch point on the A284 and a better north – south connection for our wider community?”

Residents also responded to the news on the Gazette’s Facebook page.

Matthew Hider said: “Great in principle, but it still joins the old Lyminster Road before The Brewhouse Project which will be jammed up even more.”

Lynne Comfort also said: “That’s great, but what about other infrastructure, doctors, schools, dentists etc.”

And Peter Bingley said it was great news, but raised concerns over new homes being built on either side of it.

In response, a county council spokesman said: “We were also delighted with the Department for Transport’s £11.8m backing for the project to build the northern section of the Lyminster Bypass.

“This scheme is designed to provide strategic north-south access to and from the A27 for residents, businesses and visitors alike, address congestion, reduce traffic from the existing A284’s bends for safety benefits, and remove delays caused by the level crossing at Wick.

“The county council will continue to work with the communities and Highways England to ensure the project successfully meets its objectives and reflects future A27 proposals. The scheme is subject to a Public Inquiry in the week starting August 9.”