A lot of new housing and commercial development is under construction north of Littlehampton.
The Arun Local Plan recognised that expected development would have increased the traffic issues on the road network. If these traffic problems on the A259 were not addressed, the positive impacts of increased access to new homes and jobs would not have been achieved.
The A259 improvements scheme was developed to reduce congestion and improve journey times and reliability.
The first phase of works included a new dual carriageway to replace the existing single carriageway between Nightingale Way 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 had an approved budget of £29.5m. This was jointly funded by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, West Sussex County Council and by private developer contributions.
The overall benefit of the scheme will be to reduce the former 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, the scheme included approximately 2km of a new pedestrian and cycle route on the south side of the improved road. Much of this is segregated from the road by a grass verge. The cycle paths improve access to local facilities for walkers and cyclists, which may encourage people to make local trips without using their car.
Strategically, the dual carriageway supports 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 Scheme details and programme
The project widened approximately 2km of the existing single carriageway on the A259 to a dual carriageway. This was made up of two sections:
- From the new Nightingale Way roundabout to the Body Shop roundabout.
A new pedestrian and cycle path was installed to the south of the dual carriageway. Minor alterations were made to the Body Shop roundabout to take into account the new, wider approach.
The former controlled pedestrian crossing points were upgraded to Toucan (pedestrian and cyclist) crossings. Right turns across the carriageway, such as those at Olliver Acre, Windroos Drive and Cornfield Close, were closed.
- From the Station Road (Blue Star) roundabout in Angmering to the A280 roundabout, including the Roundstone roundabout.
This featured a new cycling and pedestrian route to the south, separated from the main carriageway by a verge. The former controlled crossing connecting Angmering School and Downs Way was upgraded to a Toucan crossing.
New Toucan crossings were 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, were closed.
WSCC worked with contractor Volker Fitzpatrick to deliver the works. As far as possible, the scheme was 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 were deemed to be substantially completed with the road open on 28 April 2023.
A road safety audit was undertaken following completion of the scheme. The audit recommended a number of changes which are being implemented in September 2023.
3 Traffic management and closures
Details of road and lane closures
We will be undertaking some additional works following the completion of a safety audit on the scheme. To facilitate the works, lane closures will be in place between 9.30am-3.30pm on weekdays from 6 September until 29 September 2023.
Closures will affect the A259 between The Body Shop roundabout and the new roundabout at Nightingale Way and between Mill Lane roundabout and the A280 Roundstone roundabout. Lane closures will be running consecutively.
On 15 September 2023, 2-way lights will be in place on the A280 north of Roundstone roundabout for one night to cut back vegetation and install a pedestrian crossing warning sign.
4 Frequently asked questions
Why do you need to do more roadworks on the newly completed road?
It is best practice to review the operation of a road improvement scheme by carrying out a post construction Road Safety Audit. Road safety audits ensure that there is a process to consider the safety implications of the works once they are built and operational. The council has commissioned such an audit and has agreed some minor changes to the works to overcome some of the issues that were raised.
Why was the construction phase so long?
The works required extensive utility diversions. The new networks needed to be installed and fully tested before the old networks could be removed.
Additionally, the law requires that telecoms customers are given 90 days’ notice of any subsequent service outage at switchover. This process takes considerable time for each utility company to carry out and, as a result, there were tiems when there was a planned lull in activity on site.
Much of the original road was of a concrete slab construction which was failing. Parts of the old road was therefore taken up and re-built - again, this was a slow process.
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.
Why does Heathfield Avenue and parts of Downs Way and Oakcroft Gardens 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.
There are some locations where the road is a bit closer, but modelled noise levels suggested a barrier was not required.
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.
We will be undertaking post construction noise monitoring and modelling the as-built situation. The results of this work will be published as a noise map for 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 installed planting will adequately serve this purpose.
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.
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.