Third tragedy renews urgency over safety on A27

CALLS have been made for an urgent meeting to sort out safety measures on the A27 in Chichester after the third death in the past two months.

Chichester district councillor Pam Dignum has spoken of the need for a meeting between the authorities to get together and discuss a way forward.

It comes after the death of 61-year-old Lithuanian homeless man Sigitas Jagminas, who was hit by a car on the A27 on Friday at 5.30pm near to the Stockbridge Roundabout.

He is the third man to die since the beginning of December when homeless men Sigitas Juozapaitis, 54, and Kenneth Sherwood, 39, died between the same roundabout and the Whyke Roundabout within three days of each other.

The Highways Agency axed plans to build a bridge over the Whyke Roundabout, something which Cllr Dignum said may not be the right answer.

“I think probably there ought to be some kind of conference with all the people who have a hand in this, from local residents, county council, the highways agency, ROSPA, that kind of thing,” she said. “There is no one easy solution, a footbridge might or might not solve the problem, you cannot predict it.

All three men were well-known at the St Joseph’s Nightshelter in Hunston, which is just south of the Whyke Roundabout. The charity which runs it, Stonepillow, has been calling for stronger safety measures along the dual carriageway.

Chief executive of Stonepillow Sylvie Johnston said: “I can confirm that Sigitas Jagminas was known to us and engaging with Stonepillow. Our staff were currently working with him to enable him to access housing benefit which is one of the reasons he was not able to come to our night refuge on a regular basis.

“He was trying to cross to the safety of his tent on that night.

“Stonepillow are shocked that yet another person should be killed on the A27 and have been campaigning since December 2011 for improved safety measures to enable pedestrians to cross safely at the Whyke roundabout. Please remind your readers that the pedestrian path is currently only on the Chichester side of the road therefore the bridges at Stockbridge and Bognor roundabouts are not even an option for people trying to access the Hunston road.

“The police are being supportive and trying their best to help, but despite a petition including 300 signed supporters, the Highway Agency have so far declined to respond to our appeal for improved road safety measures.”

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