Calls for action after A286 fatality

The A286 near the scene of a fatal collision, showing the junction to Oaklands Lane on the right SUS-151002-104054001
The A286 near the scene of a fatal collision, showing the junction to Oaklands Lane on the right SUS-151002-104054001

A FATALITY on the A286 has prompted safety concerns from anxious residents.

Police have confirmed a 60-year-old man was killed on the A286 near Midhurst after being struck by a car.

The collision happened shortly before 5.30pm on Saturday, February 7, and involved a blue Peugeot 307 which was travelling north.

A 25-year-old man from Wisborough Green was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and has been released on bail until April 19.

Police said the man who died had been walking his two dogs.

Safety Concerns

THE tragic death on the A286 near Midhurst prompted fresh safety concerns from residents, who have labelled the stretch of road from Cocking to Midhurst an ‘accident black spot’.

Homeowners and commuters who regularly use the road have long been campaigning for heightened safety measures to be implemented, warning of the dangers posed by a number of hazards.

They argue tourists visiting the South Downs National Park are particularly vulnerable to the road layout and changes in speed restrictions.

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.

Locals have asked the council to implement measures such as extending the 30mph speed limit to the south of the Royal Oak, prohibit overtaking by painting double yellow lines and making signposts clearer.

As traffic density increases with the influx of visitors to the national park and the popularity of public events such as those at Goodwood, people living along the road grow increasingly concerned for the safety of their families, and for passing motorists.

Southlands Park Residents Association

Chairman of the Southlands Park Residents Association, Nigel Goodenough, said residents had spent years campaigning for better safety measures.

He said: “The attitude of the county council is ‘we’ve looked at the statistics and it’s not a dangerous section of road’.

“At every residents’ association meeting, someone raises this issue. There is quite a strong feeling that there is a problem.

“But the county council doesn’t seem to take this on board.”

Dr Hamish Cameron owns a home in Southlands Park, which joins the A286 just south of the Royal Oak pub.

He said: “We have always been concerned about the safety of this stretch of road, particularly as it is the first straight section coming out of Midhurst and drivers speed up and often try to overtake.

“Turning north out of Southlands Park you can find yourself facing speeding vehicles in both lanes and we’ve certainly logged some near misses.

“Residents have always felt there was a risk of a tragic accident happening – it sadly shows something needs to be done to improve safety of this stretch of the A286 – better signage, the provision of lighting in this residential area, consideration of a slower speed limit and widening of the pavements so that pedestrians can walk along more safely while being close to fast-moving traffic.

“Hopefully we can learn from this tragic event and reduce the risk of similar events in the future.”

Sussex Police

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “There was a collision between a blue Peugeot 307 car and a pedestrian on the A286 Chichester Road at the junction with Oaklands Lane, West Lavington.

“Neither the car driver, a man aged 25, nor his front-seat passenger, a woman aged 24, and both from Wisborough Green, were hurt.

“But, sadly, the pedestrian, a 60-year-old local man, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting Operation Cernan.