Anger over traffic chaos as gas works road closure causes delays

ks171480-5 Chi Hunston Jams  phot kate'Queues in Vinnetrow Road.ks171480-5 SUS-171127-184912008
ks171480-5 Chi Hunston Jams phot kate'Queues in Vinnetrow Road.ks171480-5 SUS-171127-184912008

Gas works at Hunston Road have left commuters fuming this week as the road closure led to long delays getting in and out of the city.

The B2145 is due to reopen on Friday having been closed northbound between the B2166 and the A27 for the final part of works to lay a pipeline for Chichester Free School’s new site.

ks171480-1 Chi Hunston Jams  phot kate'The road from Hunston to Chchester closed.ks171480-1 SUS-171127-184835008

ks171480-1 Chi Hunston Jams phot kate'The road from Hunston to Chchester closed.ks171480-1 SUS-171127-184835008

Long tailbacks ensued on alternative routes through Vinnetrow Road, the A27, Donnington and Stockbridge, with bus routes also diverted.

A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said the works were too complex to be carried out overnight and a single lane closure was the ‘safest option’ given the location.

But readers have complained short journeys into Chichester from the peninsula took at least an hour as traffic reached gridlock at peak times.

Lynn Corbett said the works were a ‘complete nightmare’: “On my journey from Selsey to Chichester I started queuing before The Blacksmiths at Donnington. Not sure what time to leave for work tomorrow.”

ks171480-3 Chi Hunston Jams  phot kate'Queues on the bypass towards the Bognor roundabout.ks171480-3 SUS-171127-184851008

ks171480-3 Chi Hunston Jams phot kate'Queues on the bypass towards the Bognor roundabout.ks171480-3 SUS-171127-184851008

Jenette Whitfield wrote: “Terrible! 50 minutes to get from North Mundham to Bognor bridge roundabout. Vinnetrow Rd at a standstill.”

A county council spokesman said around 50 metres of pipe had to be installed from the quarry to the connection point by the A27.

He said: “The position of the installation in the road means there is insufficient width to maintain safety zones and allow two-way traffic, hence the lane closure northwards.

“The proximity to the A27 roundabout also prevents the use of temporary traffic lights, so the northbound road closure is the safest option.

“Unfortunately, working at night would not resolve any issues: there would still be an open trench in the carriageway until the works are completed as it is not practical to re-fill the entire trench every evening to re-open the road.”

A spokesman for contractor Fulcrum said the essential works, started on October 23, were set to be completed on time by December 1.