Residents want change on A286 near Midhurst

Peter Cochrane who is campaigning to make the stretch of road from Midhurst to Cocking safer.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C131400-4
Peter Cochrane who is campaigning to make the stretch of road from Midhurst to Cocking safer.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C131400-4

RESIDENTS have urged councillors to alter speed limits on a dangerous section of road before there is a fatal accident.

Calls have been made to improve safety measures on the A286, on the outskirts of Midhurst between the New Road and Chichester Road junction in the north, to the Greyhound Inn pub to the south.

Blind corners, hidden entrances and excessive speed limits have been cited as posing the biggest dangers.

It has been argued that the 50mph speed limit in force just past the Royal Oak encourages drivers to unnecessarily, and prematurely, increase their speed.

Peter Cochrane said visitors passing through the area, and locals, needed to be accommodated in different ways.

While visitors remain unaware of the hazards posed by the busy A286, locals ‘think they know everything about the road’.

“I have lived in West Lavington for 40 years so I am aware of the hazards.

“Locals’ lives are now being made dangerous by the visitors.”

Mr Cochrane has the support of West Lavington parish council, Midhurst town councillors, the pub landlords and nearby residents.

In a document he produced, one resident is quoted as saying: “As things stand at the moment, police could have field days catching the speedsters.”

Senior Midhurst town councillor Steve Morley said the road was a ‘race track during Goodwood events,’ and the council would support any enhanced safety measures.

Derek Towers, chairman of the Southlands Park Residents Association, said: “This risk is real, current, and getting worse.

“This stretch of road is the first opportunity drivers have to overtake.

“If you are turning right into Southlands Park, you bring the traffic to a halt, and people start to overtake.

“This is a very, very real danger and we must do something about it before we have the most shocking accident.”

He said there have been 17 years of correspondence with councils about this issue, but nothing has ever been done.

Principal community officer for West Sussex County Council, Fiona Baker, said she could organise a site meeting with representatives from the highways agency and relevant councils.