Hundreds march against proposed closure of the A27 Sussex Pad junction
Hundreds of people on foot, bikes and even a horse marched to protest the proposed closure of the A27 Sussex Pad crossing in Lancing as part of the New Monks Farm development on Sunday.
The crossing is due to be closed as part of the controversial development which will include 600 new houses and an IKEA superstore.
It is due to be replaced with a new roundabout on the A27 which will feed the proposed site.
A decision on the proposal is scheduled to be made by Adur District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (July 18).
The rally was organised by Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth (BHFOE), Brighton Excelsior Cycling Club and Bricycles and supported by Shoreham-By-Cycle, Brighton Mitre Cycling Group, Sussex Nomads, Angmering Cycle Club, The British Horse Society and Adur Residents Environmental Action (AREA).
Protesters said the crossing is popular for cyclists, who would find the proposed diversions ‘awkward, if not dangerous’ to use.
Chris Todd, a member of BHFOE, believed a traffic count conducted by the developers was flawed – and said a count by his organisation two weeks ago showed the crossing was well used.
According to a BHFOE count over Saturday, June 30, and Sunday, July 1, 340 cyclists and 50 pedestrians used the crossing on Saturday (8am to 7pm), with 522 cyclists and 70 pedestrians on the Sunday (7.45am to 8pm).
The count contradicts figures given in the Transport Assessment put forward in the planning application, which states, for a weekday, ‘only 20 two-way pedestrian movements per day, with 31 movements per day for a Saturday’.
The assessment also counted ‘24 two-way cyclist movements for the weekday 12 hour survey period and 66 movements for the nine Saturday hour survey period’.
Mr Todd questioned the wisdom of not conducting a count on a Sunday, which he said is typically the busiest time for cyclists.
He said: “Adur planning committee need to take this on board and reject or defer the application to allow a better solution to be brought forward.”
More on the IKEA plans:
Date set for decision on proposed homes and IKEA in LancingLancing IKEA development: Planners’ recommendation revealed ahead of decision meetingAll you need to know about the IKEA Lancing plans and next week’s decision meeting