Realistic view on traffic is essential

THE letter from Mike White of the Chichester Residents’ Associations Co-ordinating Group (Observer, April 26) calling for the district and county councils to take a more realistic view of the traffic problems caused by large developments is most apposite.

Such a problem has been created at the south of the city, namely Linden Homes’ development of the former Osborne site in Stockbridge Road.

When Linden Homes were granted planning permission to cram 86 dwellings on to this site (a development which will attract some 160 extra cars) WSCC designed a remodelling of Stockbridge Road to manage the traffic in and out of the development.

However, instead of modifying the existing traffic signals, as was put forward in the planning application, they have installed a long traffic island opposite the entrance to the development which prevents traffic leaving from going straight across into Terminus Road or turning right into the city.

Instead all traffic exiting the development is constrained to turn left, meaning that those wishing to go north have first to do a circuit of the Stockbridge roundabout before heading into the city.

Similarly those returning from the south cannot turn right into the site but have to make a complete circuit of the Southgate gyratory system, including crossing the railway twice with the attendant risk of being twice stopped by the level crossing.

There is a certain inevitability that, faced with these lengthy detours, short cuts will be attempted by motorists and this has started long before the first resident has even moved in.

On April 23, a pedestrian walking north across the site entrance was nearly mown down by a lorry approaching from the south which crossed to the right of the traffic island and ran along the wrong side of the road – at speed – to enter the site before the lights changed.

The incident was reported to the police who, have taken the matter up with the haulier whose driver perpetrated this dangerous and illegal act.

Was this road design really thought through?

The county council’s naive belief drivers will happily accept major detours and delays has created a brand-new new accident blackspot – something that should have been patently obvious to anyone who knows the area and has witnessed the congestion at the south end of the city.

Alan Green

Chairman, Southern Gateway Residents Association