A lot of new housing and commercial development is under construction north of Littlehampton.
The Arun Local Plan recognises that expected development will only increase the current traffic issues. If these traffic problems on the A259 are not addressed, the positive impacts of increased access to new homes and jobs may not be achieved.
We have developed proposals to reduce congestion and improve journey times and reliability.
The first phase of works includes a new dual carriageway to replace the existing single carriageway between the new Fitzalan link road and the Body Shop roundabout and the single carriageway between Station Road, Angmering and the A280 roundabout. Later phases see improvements to the Tesco Bridge Road roundabout and Goring Crossways junction.
The dual carriageway works have an approved budget of £25.8m. This budget is jointly funded by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, West Sussex County Council and by private developer contributions.
The overall benefit of these proposals will be to reduce current and future traffic congestion by increasing road capacity. The improvements will reduce queuing, resulting in quicker and more predictable journeys.
As well as benefits for motorised traffic, there will be approximately 2km of a new pedestrian and cycle route on the south side of the improved road. Much of this will be segregated from the road by a grass verge. It is intended that this will improve access to local facilities for walkers and cyclists.
Additionally, people will be encouraged to use the new footpath and cycle way to make local trips without using their car.
Strategically, the dual carriageway will support the provision of at least 800 new homes and 8.95 hectares of new employment space.
A public consultation exercise was undertaken in spring 2016, with 78 per cent of respondents saying they agree with the proposals to improve the A259 in general, whereas 22 per cent said that they generally do not support the proposed scheme. Support for the scheme was shown to be widespread throughout the local area.
2 Proposed scheme and programme
The project will widen approximately 2km of the existing single carriageway on the A259 to a dual carriageway. This is made up of two sections:
- From the new junction east of Wick roundabout, where the new Lyminster bypass and Fitzalan link road join the A259 from the north and south. This section will end at the Body Shop roundabout.
A new pedestrian and cycle path will be installed to the south of the dual carriageway. Minor alterations will be made to the Body Shop roundabout to take into account the new, wider approach.
The existing controlled pedestrian crossing points will be upgraded to Toucan (pedestrian and cyclist) crossings. Right turns across the carriageway, such as those at Olliver Acre, Windroos Drive and Cornfield Close, will be closed.
- From the Station Road (Blue Star) roundabout in Angmering to the A280 roundabout, including the Roundstone roundabout. This will feature a new cycling and pedestrian route to the south, separated from the main carriageway by a verge. The existing controlled crossing connecting Angmering School and Downs Way will be upgraded to a Toucan crossing. New Toucan crossings will be provided adjacent to the Station Road Footbridge and also near to Haskins, linking to a new westbound bus stop. Right turns across the carriageway, such as at Haskins, will be closed.
WSCC is working with contractor Volker Fitzpatrick to deliver the works. As far as is possible, the scheme is being constructed off-line from the existing road network to minimise disruption to road users during the works.
Site preparation, including vegetation clearance at the Angmering end of the scheme was carried out in early in 2019. Further site clearance and Archaeological investigation work took place throughout August 2020.
The main construction phase commenced in September 2020. The works are expected to last for 26 months.
The design and planning of diversions of utility company apparatus was held up during Autumn 2020 whilst one of the utility companies concentrated on providing emergency connection work relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. This has meant that a key utility design was not ready in time to meet our programme dates.
Our contractor has been working with the utility owner to reduce any extension to our programme, however as a result of this issue we are currently forecasting an extension to our works duration to November 2022.
The scheme ties in with the new roundabout at Highdown Drive which serves the new Fitzalan link road and the future Lyminster bypass.
3 Wick area traffic management and closures
A 30mph temporary speed limit will be in force with traffic running in narrow lanes. Right hand turning bans are in place at Olliver Acre, Windroos Drive and Cornfield Close with turning traffic diverted via roundabouts. There will be occasional night closures for surfacing works, duct crossings and changes to traffic management layout (dates TBC).
- The A259 Worthing Road, Littlehampton will be closed overnight between the new link road and the Body Shop roundabout between Monday 21 and Saturday 26 February from 8.00pm to 8.00am for gas works. Diversions will be in place.
Existing toucan crossing points to mostly remain operational throughout. There will be times when pedestrians and cyclists are rerouted via alternative crossing facilities, which may include crossing via the central reserve or a diversion around the roundabout.
4 Angmering area traffic management and closures
- Station Road to Roundstone Lane - 40mph temporary speed limit. Traffic running in narrow lanes. Occasional 2-way lights/night closures for duct crossings, resurfacing works and changes to traffic management (dates TBC).
- Roundstone Lane to A280 - 40mph temporary speed limit. Traffic running in narrow lanes. Right hand turning bans at Haskins and Lower Trees Nursery, with turning traffic diverted via roundabouts. Occasional 2-way lights/night closures for duct crossings, resurfacing works and changes to traffic management (dates TBC).
- Crossing point by bridge at Blue Star roundabout to be diverted to a temporary position at the roundabout splitter island.
- Crossing point at Downs Way to Angmering School to mostly* remain operational throughout.
- Crossing points at Roundstone Lane Roundabout splitter islands to be mostly* retained throughout.
- The crossing point east of Haskins at the A280 roundabout splitter island will be retained* until the new signalised crossing is activated.
*There will be times when pedestrians and cyclists are rerouted via alternative crossing facilities, which may include crossing via the central reserve or diversions around the roundabout.
5 Frequently asked questions
Why is the traffic management left on at weekends?
The barrier systems used require a road closure to be installed and repositioned. It is therefore not possible to take them in at weekends and evenings.
Why is the construction phase so long?
The works require extensive utility diversions. The new networks must be installed and fully tested before the old networks can be removed.
Additionally, the law requires that telecoms customers are given 90 days’ notice of any subsequent service outage at switchover. This process takes a considerable time for each utility company to carry out and, as a result, there has been a planned lull in activity on site.
These notice periods start to expire in mid-October 2021, with the last one completing on 25 October, after which the old fibre-optic cables can be abandoned and high-intensity working can resume in the areas vacated by the telecoms companies.
Much of the existing road is of a concrete slab construction which is failing. Parts of the old road must therefore be taken up and re-built - again, this is a slow process.
Why aren’t you working nights and weekends to get the job done quicker?
There will be limited night and weekend working, but this will be the exception where the works cannot be carried out during the daytime on weekdays.
Householders adjacent to the works need some respite from construction activities at evenings and weekends. Additionally, the workforce (including the management team) need to recuperate between shifts to operate safely.
My property is within the works area. Will I still be able to come and go during road closures?
Where access to properties will be affected this will be done by arrangement with the affected occupiers to ensure that disruption is limited.
What about access for emergency vehicles?
Whilst the closures will generally apply to emergency through-traffic, in the event that emergency access is required to properties within the closed areas, emergency services will be granted access.
Why are right turns banned?
The narrow lane working is especially sensitive to traffic stopping to turn right, which may lead to excessive queuing on the A259. In order to keep traffic moving and provide the best compromise, right turns have been prohibited.
As a road user, am I entitled to receive compensation for the extra mileage or travelling time expended as a result of the roadworks?
No - The Council is not required to compensate travellers in this way.
Why does Heathfield Avenue and the part of Downs Way (west of No 80) not have an acoustic barrier, as included elsewhere in the scheme?
Generally speaking, acoustic fencing is only being installed in those locations where the new road is closer to adjacent properties than the existing road was. The acoustic mitigation for the scheme is designed to ensure that the noise generated by the scheme is mitigated as far as possible. The mitigation is not required to alleviate the pre-existing noise levels.
We measured the noise levels before the scheme and modelled the noise levels after. We then designed fencing to ensure that, wherever possible, any increase in noise would be so slight that you wouldn’t notice it. There will also be some areas where there is a slight reduction in noise as a result of the works.
This follows the approach to noise from construction and development set by the Government (which is one of the funding bodies), and as such the mitigation of noise to below pre-existing levels is not an objective of the scheme.
Why does Heathfield Avenue and Downs Way no longer have a new low wooden fence, as previously shown in the design?
The fence was originally proposed to prevent headlamp glare from the side roads from dazzling drivers on the A259. The proposed planting will adequately serve this purpose. The existing fence will be repaired where necessary.
Will the new road result in an increase in air pollution?
Air quality modelling suggests that the reduction in congestion will result in a marginal improvement to air quality.
Tree felling has left my property exposed. Will these be replanted?
The scheme includes replacement planting and landscaping which will be selected to provide screening from the road for newly exposed properties.
Why is the section of road between Morrisons and Highdown Drive not being upgraded to a dual carriageway?
Our traffic model shows significant volumes of east-west traffic will divert via the forthcoming Lyminster Bypass such that dualling of the A259 between Morrisons and the new Lyminster Bypass is not required.
Downs Way and Heathfield Avenue are experiencing rat-running traffic as drivers avoid the roadworks - what do you propose to do about it?
The County Council is aware of disruption caused by increased levels of rat-running traffic. Our monitoring data suggests that speeding has not been made worse as a result of the roadworks. We have arranged for the Police to carry out targeted enforcement.
Residents are advised to report any specific incidents of bad driver behaviour to Operation Crackdown.