Observer calls on transport secretary to keep the Oving lights
The Observer has sent an open letter to the secretary of state for transport urging him to keep the Oving traffic lights.
Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP is expected to make a final decision on the junction within days.
It follows Chichester District Council planning committee’s decision in September to approve Oving Parish Council’s application to save the lights, earmarked for closure, which saw the casting vote deferred to Mr Grayling.
The letter, emailed to Mr Grayling on Friday, states: “In writing this open letter today, the Observer series of newspapers is appealing to you to personally uphold that decision, made by the democratically elected local authority and supported by a great number of residents and councils, and keep the lights.
“Since the decision was made to close the Oving junction, as part of planning approval for around 500 homes at Shopwhyke Lakes in 2013, our newspapers have been inundated with letters and comments from the many residents who will suffer if they are removed.
“For many, especially elderly residents of villages neighbouring Chichester, it is their only way of accessing the city safely without having to use busy roundabouts where traffic moves extremely fast.
“People living in Oving, Tangmere, Shopwhyke and further afield have told us they will be left isolated and cut off if the lights go.
“By closing the junction to all vehicles except buses, the 9,000 vehicles on average which use it every day will be funnelled either north, onto the Portfield roundabout, or south, onto the Bognor roundabout, only adding to an already diabollically congested A27.
“Oving Parish Council’s planning application to keep the lights has been backed by many hundreds of residents, a large number of parish councils, as well as Chichester City Council and Chichester District Council’s planning committee.
“With such overwhelming strong local feeling, we urge you to demonstrate that the concept of localism is alive and well by supporting the decision to keep the Oving traffic lights.”
The Department for Transport is understood to have receieved the planning documents from Chichester District Council on October 5, and has 21 days from that date to make a decision.
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