Potential danger

I was extremely interested to see your article on the possible proposed construction of a pedestrian/cyclist bridge to supercede the existing highly-dangerous pedestrian crossing at track level.

It was way back in the autumn of 1999 I retired from university lecturing on engineering, and immediately joined classes at Chichester College, three days per week, commencing at 9am.

I live within an acceptable walking distance, which took me over the pedestrian link at the Fishbourne level crossing.

Make no mistake, this crossing is extremely dangerous – a situation reflecting a significant number of lucky clear misses that I have witnessed.

When you think about it, with two or more very large masses of about 200 tons apiece, travelling at up to 70 miles per hour, and having relatively very poor braking efficiency, it is amazing there have not been more deaths and injuries than there have been. These incidents prompted me to write to a large number of local bodies, surprisingly with little or no interest in picking up the baton.

Rail Track were a little more forthcoming but persisted in saying that they had improvement plans on the stocks.

But here we are 12 years on, with no improvements in safety provisions.

Because of the ongoing real potential danger, if it were within my jurisdiction to do so, I would close the present pedestrian access and use immediately, inconvenient as it might be.

As for a bridge, although in the 60s I worked with Sir Donald Bailey on lightweight air transportable bridges, those around Chichester spanning the A27 are grossly over-engineered to the extent that I question that they were actually ‘designed’ against any truly-acceptable design code.

As it stands, the bridge seekers are really talking of similar vulgar monstrosities to carry just a few pedestrians and cyclists, not battle tanks!

David Garrett

Dolphin Close