Implications for Broadwater residents
Whatever people's views about the broad outline of the plans, the small print reveals a major implication for Broadwater residents of the Lyons Farm 1 Junction proposal, which is not set out explicitly in the published document.
The document states ‘Right turn from the eastbound A27 to Sompting Road would be banned’.
Sompting Road is a major artery for lorries, vans and cars from the A27 to East Worthing and the trading estates off Penfold Road and Dominion Road, and is used day and night. What the document does not state is where eastbound traffic that needs to turn south would go in order to access these areas.
At the consultation meeting on 19 th July, I requested this information from a Highways Agency official.
He consulted a HA briefing document which I also looked at.
This stated with a diagram that the access route for eastbound traffic to turn south from the A27 would be via Downlands Avenue! Anyone that knows this road will immediately identify the disaster of this proposal for the whole area. Not only would it create an unsafe and uncontrolled right turn across the westbound traffic into Downlands Avenue, but the road itself is totally unsuitable for lorries and vans.
It is a narrow road of terraced properties, with on-street parking.
At the bottom it bends into Sompting Road, and would require southbound traffic to turn right across the northbound flow.
In reality the proposal is likely to create traffic anarchy on the A27, and only add to rather than improve journey times for the businesses accessing East Worthing.
Eastbound traffic needing to go south will search for alternative routes down all the nearby quiet residential streets, including Forest Road and Shandon Road.
While waiting to dodge a gap in the westbound traffic to turn right on these uncontrolled junctions, they will be holding up the traffic.
For both these roads, southbound lorries, vans and cars would then have to negotiate sharp left turns into Charmandean Road/Leigh Road, which is winding, narrow and already a traffic rat-run, and again negotiate a right turn across the traffic into Sompting Road.
One final possible outcome of this proposal is that traffic from the A27 to East Worthing takes a route through Broadwater Shopping Centre to get to Sompting Avenue, adding further to the existing congestion.
Perhaps it is not surprising that the Highways Agency has not spelled out in the consultation the consequences of their seemingly ‘harmless’ proposal.
But for the sake of shaving a minute off the A27 westbound journey time by removing the eastbound right turn filter at Lyons Farm, the Highways Agency is prepared to blight a swathe of north Broadwater with significantly increased day and night-time noise, air pollution and traffic congestion on unsuitable residential streets.
I urge everybody in replying to the consultation to challenge this ill-thought out proposal, raise the issue with councillors and MPs, and demand the reinstatement of the Lyons Farm eastbound right-turn filter, whatever else comes out of the consultation.
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