Residents told it will be ‘difficult’ to sort out main road

Organisers of the campaign.
Organisers of the campaign.

Residents have been told it will be ‘difficult’ to push plans forward to make one of Shoreham’s main roads a safer place.

People living along Old Shoreham Road attended a meeting at Swiss Gardens school on Wednesday evening to find ways to develop the narrow road into a safer place for children and families.

But they were told the road was not a major priority in the county, despite claims the road had been congested and full of traffic for 15 years.

The meeting, organised by husband and wife Andrew and Tamsin Holmes, was part of a campaign developed two years ago, but the couple have seen little action from West Sussex County Council.

Residents criticised highways manager Mike Thomas, because of a new ‘scoring’ system put in place that determines which roads need work, based on the number of injuries and accidents, along with offences on the road.

One resident asked: “So someone’s child has to be killed to get action. Where does this leave us as a community in Shoreham Road?”

Mr Thomas replied: “It may sound callous but that would increase it in priority. It is very difficult to get it right. We identify what the issue is and then we take it from there. It is making sure we get value out of every penny we get.”

The meeting included a number of suggestions for the road, such as the expansion of the roundabout near the Red Lion pub, but Mr Thomas said this would not solve the problem.

Other ideas included the use of speed guns from police, which monitor cars similar to a camera, and a new set of traffic lights.

Attending the meeting was East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton, who apologised for lack of action, and stated more needed to be done.

He said: “It is a busy road for motorists and pedestrians and it is pretty problematic. The reason this needs to get back on track is that we have got an additional 30 children coming into the school. The roundabout is also problematic, because it causes traffic to back up, and it is not an easy problem to solve.”

A review of the road will now take place to identify the biggest cause of congestion.

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