LETTER: Oving lights cause danger

I am dismayed The Observer has joined the ‘fight’ to retain the current operation of Oving traffic lights. This seems very partisan and takes no account of the views of Oving Road residents living to the city-side of the lights.

Our Oving Road is already operating over-capacity at rush hours and school collection times. Cars regularly mount the footway on the south side because the east-bound traffic does not give way. This is terribly dangerous. I have had my gatepost knocked over without the driver pausing. I worry desperately for local children, be they residents or pupils of Portfield School, who cross Oving Road as pedestrians daily.

The argument – succinctly articulated by the city council – is between safety and convenience. I hope neither the Observer nor the district council will give the latter priority. Safety, surely, is paramount. The traffic conditions in Oving Road worsen noticeably year-on-year as the local car-owning population and the demand for home-deliveries increases.

The closure of the traffic lights will inconvenience a lot of people, including me, but surely safety is paramount. I would ask anybody who is in any doubt to stand outside my house on a Friday 5-7 pm and see what happens. Would you like to use the footway here?

East Chichester is a very sustainable corner of the city. We have a nursery school, a primary school, a Tesco local store, a park, a post office and a pub. We live within walking distance of the city centre and the Portfield Retail Park. We are very lucky in every respect, except for the traffic load on Oving Road. This will have to be reduced whatever else happens. I endorse the planning officer’s recommendation to refuse this application, but in any event will be campaigning to reduce traffic.

With the closure of the Oving Road traffic lights, the proposal for 500 more houses might not just create a new sustainable development, it might save another; east Chichester. I hope the Observer’s misguided campaign fails.

The whole matter of traffic circulation around Chichester is currently the subject of consultation with HE; now is not the time to move the goalposts. The very sensible conditions imposed for traffic safety reasons should be retained.

Sue Organ

Oving Road, Chichester