A259 Littlehampton improvements

Details of the design and construction of the improved A259 north of Littlehampton.

1 Background

A lot of new housing and commercial development is planned north of Littlehampton in the coming years.

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 will include 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% of respondents saying they agree with the proposals to improve the A259 in general, whereas 22% 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:

  1. 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 and Cornfield Close, will be closed.

  2. 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 will be constructed off-line from the existing road network to minimise disruption to road users during the works.

Programme

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 24 months.

The scheme ties in with the Persimmon Homes works for the new Fitzalan link road and Lyminster bypass, which commenced in January 2020. These works will require a new junction east of Wick roundabout, where the new roads meet the A259.

WSCC will work closely with Persimmon Homes to coordinate the various schemes.

3 Wick area traffic management and closures

Phase 2

  • From 10 October 2020 for 11 months - 30mph temporary speed limit. Traffic running in narrow lanes to south side. Right Hand Turning bans at Olliver Acre, Windroos Drive and Cornfield Close with turning traffic diverted via roundabouts. Occasional 2-way lights/night closures for duct crossings (Dates TBC).

Phases 3, 4 +

  • From September 2021 until late Summer 2022 - Generally retaining 2-way traffic with occasional night closures or traffic lights (Dates TBC).

Subsequent numbered phases imply moving the live traffic from north to south side or vice versa, which will require night closures to change the cones and barriers.

Details

  • Phase 2 - Northern footway/cycleway will be closed with Pedestrians diverted to south side.
  • 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

Phase 2

  • From 18 October 2020 for 11 months - 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 (Dates TBC).
  • 4 December 2020 - A night-time road closure is required from 8.00pm to 4.00am whilst we repair the potholes in the road.

Phases 3, 4 +

  • From September 2021 until late Summer 2022 - Generally retaining 2-way traffic with occasional night closures or traffic lights (Dates TBC).

Subsequent numbered phases imply moving the live traffic from north to south side or vice versa, which will require night closures to change the cones and barriers.

Details

  • 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.
  • Haskins - Right turns banned except for buses.
  • 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 traffic barrier systems used to protect the workforce 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 (24 months)?

The works require extensive utility diversions. The new networks must be installed and fully tested before the old networks can be removed. This process takes a considerable time for each utility company to carry out.

Much of the existing road is of a concrete slab construction. These and the foundations beneath are failing. The old road must therefore be taken up and re-built from foundations upwards, using methods that limit noise and vibration - 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 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) needs 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?

‘Before’ and ‘after’ road noise has been modelled and acoustic barriers have been designed to ensure that there will be no perceptible increase in noise. As a result further mitigation was not deemed to be necessary. This follows the approach to noise from construction and development set by the government.

Why does Heathfield Avenue and Downs Way not have a 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.

Last updated:
24 November 2020
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