'˜Someone's going to get killed'

Temporary signs have today been put up warning shoppers crossing Bognor's High Street that buses also use the road.

Thursday, 4th August 2016, 6:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:08 pm
Temporary warning signs are now in place
Temporary warning signs are now in place

It comes after the Bognor Observer newspaper today reported on the many concerns that the newly paved road is an ‘accident waiting to happen’.

Many say they have seen children come close to being struck by busses, and the Observer has witnessed a number of people caught out because they didn’t realise vehicles were still permitted to use the busy shopping road.

Paul Wells, Arun District Councillor for Bognor, is suggesting that the busses should be re-routed away from the centre, making the High Street completely pedestrianised.

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He said: “The intention of the changes has been to improve the public realm and visitor experience of Bognor’s town centre, and there’s no doubt it looks good but clearly there’s some safety issues that need to be addressed.

“Mixing pedestrians and busses was never going to work, they shouldn’t be sharing the same space and the simple solution is to make it pedestrian-only.

“I’m calling for the busses to be re-routed down Belmont Street, away from this area.

“They did it for five months without any problems while they were carrying out the improvement work, so why can’t it be permanent?”

As cllr Wells was speaking, two girls had to dash out of the way of a bus travelling down the road, clearly not realising it was dual-use.

One lady, 71, added: “I’ve lived here for 30 years and I’m disgusted.

“All it takes is a child to run out and there would be a tragedy.

“It’s just so dangerous, someone is going to get knocked down here.”

Darren Clark from Felpham has taken it upon himself to warn people about the dangers, after himself being given a fright last week.

He said: “I’d come out of Santander bank, walked across the road and before I knew it a bus was right on me.

“I managed to get out the way, but someone not as quick might not have.

“There’s nothing to show which part is the road and which part is the curb. There are even ‘pedestrian zone’ signs up which just confuse things more.

“How would a blind person know the difference? Guide dogs are trained to stop at curbs, but there aren’t any.

“All I’m asking for is a bit of common sense, now it’s the holidays the town centre is teeming with kids.”

Earlier this week a West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We are carrying out a road safety audit in the coming weeks as part of the scheme. This matter will be part of that process.

“We are also working closely with the local bus companies to ensure pedestrian safety.”