No changes yet to Chichester’s ‘death trap’ road

" An accident waiting to happen "  Pine Grove residents Roger Mills and Ian Bartle.''C120626-1 Chi West Broyle   Photo Louise Adams
" An accident waiting to happen " Pine Grove residents Roger Mills and Ian Bartle.''C120626-1 Chi West Broyle Photo Louise Adams

Renewed road safety fears have been raised by West Broyle campaigners who have labelled a key road as a potential ‘death trap’ for drivers.

Concerns have been voiced following a fourth accident within the space of 18 months on the B2178 road near the entrance to the Sennicotts House estate.

According to resident Margaret Tester, who lives in a lodge on the site, she felt it was only a matter of time before another serious road incident would happen along the poorly-sighted junctions at Salthill Road.

Though a patch of road has been painted red to act as a warning to drivers, residents believe the only solution is to reduce speed down to 40mph along the road.

“Everyone here is so worried about this. Whenever I have visitors here, including my niece, she is terrified when we walk by our hedge next as we just don’t know if something is going to come through it,” she said.

“The latest accident happened last Monday evening just before 11pm, with the car destroying my rose arch and vegetable patch and leaving a huge hole in the hedge. Our fear is that with this being the fourth or fifth time this has happened, with so many minor accidents, there’s going to be an major incident or even a fatality.”

Fears from residents

James Rank, of Sennicotts House, revealed he had ‘serious concerns’ for the safety of his young family in turning into their property, with vehicles routinely trying to overtake him while accessing his own property.

He said: “We really do fear for the safety of Mrs Tester who lives at the lodge and spends many hours each week in her vegetable garden. It is quite clear from the incident last Monday the anti-slip surface has not solved the problem.

“The number of evasive manoeuvres we and other regular road users have to make at these junctions to avoid accidents is not only indicative of the dangerous road conditions, but it is unacceptable in this day and age when West Sussex Highways have the tools and knowledge to engineer roads and junctions for safe and comfortable passage around our county.”

Roger Mills, of West Broyle residents’ association, said the majority of those living in the village had signed a petition calling for urgent action on the B2178. But despite a further meeting with county council leader Louise Goldsmith, the group has been told by the Highways Agency it did not believe speed reduction measures were needed.

West Sussex County Council comment

A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: “West Sussex County Council is holding meetings about traffic issues on the East Ashling road. Furthermore a road safety scheme is currently being prepared for the section between Old Broyle Road and Salthill Road – with possible completion in this financial year. We are also discussing a potential cut in speed limit between Chichester and East Ashling.”