Does action need to be taken on A27 safety?

AM ASTOUNDED that everyone seems to be avoiding the real issue regarding the crossing point on the A27.

Wake up and smell the coffee!

As a local employer a few years ago we had the unfortunate experience of one of our drivers hitting and injuring a pedestrian on this road. Following a police investigation it was found that the homeless man who had been hit by our vehicle had intentionally stepped in front of the vehicle with the sole purpose of causing self harm in return for a warm hospital bed and food during his recovery.

Our driver was traumatised from the event and has never really recovered from the pedestrian coming through his windscreen.

On this occasion the homeless man was very lucky to survive. We were told later that he had a habit of stepping in front of vehicles, particularly in the cold winter months in preference to sleeping rough. Alcohol played a part in numbing the pain of the collision and presumably building the courage to step off the kerb.

Just look at the facts, three fatalities that only take place in the depths of winter, Homeless individuals with high levels of alcohol in their blood; a coincidence? I think not.

As unfortunate as these circumstances are, why are we expending time, resources and taxpayers’ money on a foot bridge, when we should be building bridges of a humanitarian type?

Build a foot bridge and human nature tells us that people will still take a short cut over the railings and across the road rather than a detour up the stairs or ramp. Heaven forbid these individuals may even consider jumping off it.

No. The answer is to deal with the elephant in the room head on.

Funds would be better spent counselling and rehabilitating the homeless in Chichester in combination with relocating the night shelter to the other side of the A27 to remove the need of crossing the road.

I find the comparison of the A27 with Arundel and Worthing completely misguided. The geography and development of housing and business on both sides of the A27 in these nearby towns warrants the 40mph speed limit. The A27 dual carriageway Chichester bypass is a completely different type of road, in a completely different environment.

There is already a footbridge in a position where it is needed and another bridge or reduction in speed limit would be an absolute waste of time and money. As someone who regularly travels the A27 though Arundel and Worthing, I have spent far too long queuing along the A27 in these towns; dreaming of the road being upgraded to the type that we have in Chichester.

Admittedly a small improvement would be additional signage warning drivers of an approaching crossing point, or even flashing lights that operate during school crossing times only; but a footbridge really is a bridge too far!

As for responsibility; we had the Green Cross Code and Tufty Club when I was a child, surely education is the answer here, not some misguided and costly good intention of a nanny state.

D Collins

Southbourne