By Kelly Wickham
A petition to create a crossing at Bognor Road may be halted after a councillor said the pavements may not be able to accommodate it.
Two weeks ago, the Chichester Post reported Cllr Sarah Sharp, a city and district councillor in Chichester, had started a paper petition several months ago for a crossing at Bognor Road in Chichester and has already collected more than 200 signatures.
Nearby businesses including the Co-operative food shop, The Wickham Arms pub and Hair at the House hairdressers have shown support for the idea.
However, when residents handed in the petition to West Sussex County Council south Chichester county local committee on Tuesday evening, Cllr Jamie Fitzjohn said the group should not get their hopes up.
He said: “I have walked Bognor Road and looked at the area. I have taken a measuring stick and I measured it. Trying to cross that road is a nightmare, it is hazardous, but I will try and get the official results first before you spend a lot of time on this.
“The community will is there, the support is there and I will support this 100 per cent because the need is there. But the pavements are not wide enough legally. That is the issue.
“You have got to have a minimum requirement, my understanding is, of 1.2 metres of the width of the pavement to have a stand and a post there to put in.
“At one point in that road it is only 1.1 metre. You can have one the ones at the Hornet if you like, I will take them out and bring them with me!
“But, the issue is finding the place n that road, because the other issue you have is to be a certain distance from the junctions. It has got to be safe.
“I am happy to go out and get officers to look at it but I don’t want to build your hopes up.”
Cllr Sharp said: ” Things are changing and we need to be able to think more laterally. What about a zebra crossing? What about an island in the middle of the road. What about reducing the speed limit? There are lots of things the highways authority could be talking to residents about.
“There is also a lot changing for the roads in Chichester with about 7,000 new dwellings being planned. A crossing for Bognor Road should be picked up by the local cycling and walking infrastructure plan which the district council is working on – this should be finished off soon and open to public consultation.
“This crossing is needed and we need officers and councillors who work out that sometimes they need to answer ‘yes’ and then go away and make sure that road safety is prioritised and things are made possible. Everything is possible – you just have to have the will and imagination to make things happen.”