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Hand-drawn Sidlesham signpost with lapwing bird.

Notes on B2145 Corridor Traffic Management & Environmental Improvement Scheme – Post TRO Proposals

Sidlesham Parish
B2145 Corridor Traffic Management and Environmental Improvement Scheme- Post TRO Proposals

Following the implementation of the second phase of the TRO by WSCC the possible additional signage, verge and footpath improvements and overall traffic management that have been discussed with the county might now be progressed.

It is evident that many of the vehicles traveling through the village are unaware of the change in speed limit and consistently exceed the 30mph.Many users are regular travelers on the road and may simply due to familiarity not notice the change. They are however as stated by the County Council driving without due care and attention. Others drive with almost complete disregard for the law at excessive speed particularly during the hours of darkness and at times such as early morning. This latter group presents a particular danger to all other road users and those living near the road. Evidence of the often reckless driving is the number of walls demolished and vehicles landing off the road in fields and peoples gardens.

The police with their restrictions on resources have great difficulty enforcing the law on the B2145. Although the latest TRO has the full backing of legislation the police have indicated that they will not enforce the new speed limits until the scheme has been in place for at least a year and continue to express their concerns about resources. This is a completely different approach to the first TRO now over a decade ago when there was active promotion of the new limits and enforcement from the start. There is a very fundamental issue at the heart of this about the continued safety and security of all road users and those affected by the road that should be raised with the Police and Crime Commissioner. We have already raised the issue with the Chief Constable.

Current new guidance on signage restricts the number and position of speed roundels primarily to the start and finish of particular sections of road that a speed limit relates to. However, the nature of the B2145 lends itself to reinforcement of the ‘information to drivers’ and more signage is needed on a number of sections of the road.

Selsey Town Council has undertaken with consultants a traffic study of the complete length of the B2145 in connection with their neighborhood plan. The full details are not yet available but some key findings indicate a road operating well above its designed carrying capacity- a factor greatly aggravated by the mixed nature of the vehicles with an exceptionally high incidence of large articulated lorries for what is only a ’B’ road. The other overriding and troublesome factor is that the road is an extended cul-de-sac and the only access to a town of over 11,000 that more than doubles during the summer months when one of the largest caravan sites in Europe is in full use.

Continued pressure for new housing within the district with much of it focused on the Peninsula coast in Selsey and the Witterings aggravates an already bad situation adding to congestion, poor air quality and an overall deterioration in the amenity and environmental quality of the area. The future options and eventual design of any junction of the B2145 B2201/A286 and the A259to the A27trunk road I are crucial factors. Freer less congested movement at the A27 has many advantages but may also release current constraints to development and allow even more housing on the Peninsula. Any move in this direction must to actively challenge early in any consultation process for the A27. It is however likely that such factors will not form a consideration of the main proposals but will simply be a consequence of the eventual final scheme.

Some elements of the scheme-

Traffic management and calming –
Previous discussions have been held with both Hunston and North Mundham PC’s on traffic management and calming. These discussions have been supported by a consultant Ben Hamilton-Baillie  and based on his Tool Kit that itself  utilizes the key work of Dorset CC on their ‘Protocol for Rural Roads’

Extract from the Protocol -
From now on, in all our work on rural roads and streets, Dorset County Council will:
• Balance the safety and access needs of users with care for the environment and the quality of our landscape and settlements.
• Use local materials and design schemes to be sympathetic to the character of our rural settlements.
• Consider the landscape adjacent to the road and address ecological and historical needs and interests. • Address sustainability and consider the potential impacts of climate change, ensuring that our management of rural roads and streets does not create or contribute to foreseeable environmental problems in the future.
• Keep signs, lines and street furniture to the minimum needed for safety and remove intrusive roadside clutter.
• Where signs and markings are needed, we will adapt standard designs wherever possible to make them the best possible fit with local surroundings. • Encourage and test innovative approaches and make full use of the flexibility in national regulations, standards and codes of practice
• Understanding and exploiting the quality and character of the built and natural environment to increase driver awareness and to influence driver behaviour.
• Avoiding the imposition of standardised highway measures that can erode the distinctiveness and quality of villages, and serve to isolate drivers from their surroundings. Signs, road markings, barriers and traffic signals are kept to a minimum to reduce roadside clutter, and to engage drivers with the environment outside their car.
• Employing the principles of “psychological traffic calming” to influence driver speeds and responses. “Self-reading” roads that inform drivers appear to reduce speeds and improve drivers’ awareness of their surroundings by increasing interest and changing perceptions of time. Research suggests that the more our brains engage with interpreting the immediate environment, the less we sense time passing. This seems in turn to promote lower speeds and a reduced sense of urgency.
• Expanding the menu of measures available to local communities and local highway authorities beyond standardised highway measures. Such measures are intended to build on the principles of “place-making”, to make villages more distinctive and recognisable, introducing elements of intrigue, uncertainty and interest to alert drivers to the specific context of their surroundings.
• Redefining the boundaries for responsibility and management of village streets and spaces.

The important factor from the discussions with other parishes is that we have the same problems and the best way forward is a coordinated and integrated approach.
Both Hunston and North Mundham share with us the road dividing their communities, making entry onto it with a vehicle difficult and impossible to cross at by pedestrians.
Hunston through successive schemes/TRO’s has achieved a greater sense of identity than North Mundham or we have and there are things to learn from this.

Slowing traffic to the official speed limit is an overriding priority for safety and so that others can adequately use the road and live by it.
However, as part of this it is essential that those ‘passing through” recognise the place as a place and not just somewhere on the road between Chichester and Selsey.

Creating the sense of place is therefore an essential part of the management approach.

This may be achieved by announcing the entry and departure points by signage and installation of village gates, change in road surface /colour. Creating a sense of enclosure to the road with planting and edge of road post, road makings such as bringing the edge of carriageway lines out onto the road further and possibly widening them but in places removing the central line all could help in achieving this.
The whole concept is about Sidlesham as a community taking the road corridor than currently divides it and introduces an alien and poor environment back and rekindling the sense of responsibility for the care and maintenance of the “Public Realm” that has been lost.

Proposals to improve drainage and protect the footpaths were set out in the lat flooding and land drainage report. Their basis is to ensure road gulley drainage works, identify where anew gulley pot would intercept or clear surface water from the road. New or raising of existing curbing will be needed in number of locations. In the Flood and Land Drainage Strategy reference is made to issues.

Some Specific Locations and Issues

The Anchor Bend and the roads that join it suggesting measures that might alter the road surface and its gradients. There may be an opportunity here to combine drainage and access /safety. A raised area forming the bend with a different –no skid surface allowing a dip curb to be installed on the western side thus enabling pedestrians better access to the footway may be possible

B2145 Street End Road- Rotten Row to Lockgate west side
New curbing in some locations and the complete removal of what remains of the small section of grass verge may be the best solution. In other places replenishment of the verge/ raising it with the protection of edge of carriageway posts may be the preferred option.

The Paddock Straight presents a particular problem of speeding and one of the busiest junctions at the Esso garage. Proposal for a possible cycle route that may use the Straight would need to be considered.
In a number of studies and implemented schemes ‘closing in’ of the road has had marked effects on reducing speed. . Planting the area between road edge and a new centrally positioned cycle path/footway on the straight could achieve this. Better access to the bus stop would result and the existing path that is often troubled by overhanging vegetation could be abandoned. Savings on regular grass cutting could be used to maintain the vegetation and its presence would inhibit vehicles parking and eroding the verge.

The southern section of the road has unfortunately become dominated by the growth of the Enbourne business park and the rear of properties in Mill Lane is now very evident. The road verge on the eastern side is wide in places and a scheme of structural tree planting / landscaping could be introduced ideally interspersed with areas of wildflower’ Meadow” planting (this could also be introduced on the Paddock Straight). The dual effect would be to screen the development introducing amore rural character to the area and the areas of planting would help with ground water control /air pollution and biodiversity. Again savings would be made on the grass cutting that currently has to be undertaken.
This scheme may be integrated with any proposals RSPB have for the reserve and jointly with WSCC the provision of the new crossing point between Pagham Harbour LNR and the Medmerry scheme.

Junction of B2201and B2145 has inherent dangers from the overall speed of traffic, the position and number of its junctions –in particular the private access points opening directly onto the junction. It typifies rural junctions on very lightly trafficked roads that the B2145/2201 are not. Through traffic in both north and south directions on the B2145 restricts and makes turning into the B2145 from the B2201 both difficult and dangerous at times. A solution would be a mini roundabout. This would have the advantage of slowing traffic particularly as it enters from the north but would introduce an ‘urban ‘ element into the area as the junction would have to be lit for instance.

Additional Signage Better located existing signs and additional repeater signs are needed on the whole route and a further detailed survey is needed to establish the best locations. There is a need for a balance to be struck between information and management of traffic and the ‘clutter’ sings can sometimes introduce.

Electronic  Speed Indication Device between junction B2145 /B2201 and Lockgate Road. At the time of the installation of a pair of these indicators in the south of the village a very pressing case was also being made for similar indicators in the north.
As part of the s106 requirements arising from developments in Selsey Sussex Police had requested a vehicle recognition camera on the B2145 roughly in the location as set out above. Should this go ahead a speed indicator could be installed at greatly reduced cost from a stand-alone scheme and incorporated into the police proposal.

Possible future action points –

Review with WSCC and STAG existing and additional signage.

Investigate locations and produce designs for ‘Village Gates’ at north and south entry points to Parish.

Jointly with Sidlesham Flood &Land Drainage Group and WSCC submit schemes to Operation Watershed for further highway and land drainage eg at junction B2201/B2145  and bus stop opposite Lockgate Road east  side.

Improve drainage and introduce new raised curbing, replenish verges and introduce bollards/planting north and south of Esso Service Station.

Review possible layout changes to junction of B2201 and B2145-possible roundabout.

Improve drainage, new curbing, raise footpath B2145 Rotten Row to opposite 2 Street End.

Major planting scheme with protected line for possible cycle path Paddock Straight

Raised ‘pedestrian platform and non skid road surface including pedestrian access points at Anchor Bend.

Major tree planting Selsey Road south of 30mph to Enbourne.

Jointly with RSPB and WSCC continue to develop new crossing of B2145 at north end of reserve

Removal of fallen and rotting tree cover, replanting with trees and shrubs Rookery Lane to Keynor Lane East Side: and at east side of B2145 south of ESSO Garage.

Investigate possibilities of joint vehicle recognition device and speed indicator south of B2201&B2145 junction.

Continue joint working with Hunston and North Mundham on management and environmental improvements.

Ensure the B2145 corridor issues are fully integrated in the discussions and outcomes of the A27 proposals.

Paul Bedford Sidlesham PC April 2016