Change needed to popular Sussex beach route, committee agrees

Action is needed to reduce traffic in West Wittering, South Chichester County Local Committee agreed last night (Tuesday 30).

Wednesday, 31st October 2018, 5:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st October 2018, 5:50 pm
DM17629176a.jpg Sunseekers, parasols and windbreaks on West Wittering Beach, 17th June 2017. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-170617-194748008

At the meeting on Tuesday evening, the committee considered an experimental traffic regulation order (TRO) among other options.

A presentation from the chief operational officer for West Wittering Estate, James Crespi, highlighted the rising number of visitors to the site.

Mr Crespi said: "The last three years have produced the busiest on record with 2018 being the busiest ever."

The committee heard how the estate had been making improvements to how visitors were managed, including contactless payments and sharing traffic information with local media.

He added: "The problem we have, which is a shame from our point of view, is that we have managed to make the improvement but the demand has gone up further.

"Our customers are very determined but they are better informed when they arrive now. When they see we are full, they just keep coming."

West Sussex County Council leader, representing Chichester West, Louise Goldsmith said: "There are other lovely beaches in the area and we have got to try and promote this to support them as well."

Carol Purnell, county councillor for Selsey, said: "We have some lovely beaches at Selsey. They may be stony but it is cheap to park."

Mr Crespi said he was in support of promoting other beaches in the area. The plan for the TRO was that it would be implemented 'three or four' times a year and would include a full closure of Chapel Lane and manned closure in Acre Street.

Jamie Fitzjohn, for Chichester South, asked: "What alternative transport means are you looking at?"

Mr Crespi responded that there had been talks with a Boris-bike-style business model but that too few bicycles were available for use and that many visitors were coming from London and other areas.