Chaos in Pier Road and the sea defence works haven’t yet started.

Pier Road closedOn Saturday, Littlehampton Town proudly hosted the Freedom of the Town – a wonderful event to recognise the Royal Marines who were based in Littlehampton during 1944.

The Unit at the time was founded and commanded by Ian Flemming who later went on to create James Bond. At the time the Unit were called the 30 Assault Unit and were based in the Marine Public House, Selborne Road. The public house is now being converted into apartments, but the Marines legacy lives on.

And rather fittingly, the Town Council have granted the Marines the Freedom of the Town in a spectacular event, which took place on Saturday with a parade and a service at Littlehampton’s Caffyn’s fields.

However, in Pier Road on Saturday it was more of a charge of the Light Brigade than a celebration of the Royal Marines and Ian Flemming’s memory.

As Pier Road was closed to vehicles while the parade took place in the town centre, many motorists became irate at having their onward journey blocked and took to driving on pavements to the danger and detriment of pedestrians as they desperately tried to flee the area.

DSCF2321The silver car pictured above outside the Waterfront became so impatient that he had simply left the queue and drove down Pier Road the wrong way and then once he couldn’t get any further reversed all the way back up the same way all the time eating an ice cream. He finally managed to turn around and speed off up Pier Road shaking his head as if everyone else was to blame for his own arrogance and impatience.

The reason I’m telling you this..

Is that in a few days, Pier Road will be closed to vehicular traffic for at least six months. I’ve asked to see the Traffic Management Plan for the area during this time, and the plan I’ve seen isn’t so much a traffic management plan, but more of a traffic jam manifesto. The type that West Sussex County Council are infamous for.

You’ll be familiar with these – it involves either blocking or partially blocking a road or carriage way with a metal sign depicting a man working on a road – but no  man or men can ever be seen. Anyone who drives along the Lyminster Road at the junction with the A27 will be familiar with this arrangement.

Chaos and road rage ensues followed by the inevitable irate phone-ins on the BBC Southern Counties radio show….

Going by what we witnessed in Pier Road on Saturday, and given the lack of patience of many car drivers, I believe this is a remedy for road rage and potential accidents.

I’ve raised my concerns (prior to Saturday’s events) with the Environment Agency and to date there’s been no response.

There won’t be, of course, as nobody working on this project has ever taken the time to understand the dynamics of Littlehampton’s traffic flows and the importance of Pier Road as a primary artery in ensuring free flow of traffic.

And if you think I’m exaggerating – below is a picture of the last attempt by the Environment Agency of controlling traffic flow in Pier Road when they closed a lane for 3 weeks and quite literally chaos ensued trapping even police cars in the ensuing chaos.

Pier Road Littlehampton

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