A £3M scheme to improve two notorious traffic spots has ‘thrown a red rag to a bull’, a councillor has said.
A junctions feasibility study for the Northgate Gyratory and Westhampnett Road junctions was presented to the South Chichester county local committee at its meeting on Tuesday.
Council leader Louise Goldsmith said she was worried some of the ideas could be seen as having the potential to increase traffic through alternative residential routes.
“I think we’ve thrown a red rag to a bull,” she said. “The roads must be kept for the community.”
She said she had already received a lot of emails from residents – with some concerned about an increase in rat-running.
“It worries me when you get a lot of comments from the community.
“I don’t think we’ve got it as right as it could be.”
Three options for each junction were discussed.
Improvements to the Northgate Gyratory – the one-way system between the A286, St Paul’s Road and Broyle Road – are estimated to cost about £1m.
Option one is to keep the one-way system but enhance off-carriageway cycle tracks and include signalled pedestrian and cycle crossings between the Oaklands Way and North Street entry points.
Option 2c is the same as option one, but with all four main entries becoming traffic signal controlled.
Option 4a is to make the northern section between Orchard Street and Oaklands Way – including St Paul’s and Broyle Road – a two-way system with traffic signals and signalised pedestrian and cycle crossing at the junctions.
Improvements to the A285 Westhampnett Road should cost about £2m and will involve turning the mini-roundabouts into junctions.
Option 2b is to turn the eastern roundabout into a signal controlled T-junction and the western roundabout into a priority junction with St Pancras giving way.
Option 3b is to turn both roundabouts to signal controlled T-junctions with no right turn from Spitalfield Lane to St Pancras.
Option 4 is to replace both roundabouts with junctions, with St Pancras and St James Road giving way.
Traffic signals would be able to monitor traffic and adjust accordingly.
A public consultation on the plans was estimated to take place in 2016/17.
Ms Goldsmith said she would like the community and residents’ associations to become involved at the start of next year.
“We pride ourselves on working with our communities.
“If residents’ associations want to be involved, it can only add value to getting the right scheme everybody is comfortable with.”
Councillors will arrange a special meeting to discuss these options.