Bognor - Littlehampton upgrade

We reported in News (28 March) that comments were being sought to improve the scheme.   Now it's NOT good news.   Instead of some good Active Travel measures, all that has gone and instead the A259 is being prioritised as a relief road for the A27 and traffic flow is the primary purpose.    Why and how come?   Because the current Prime Minister, no doubt influenced by the right wing of the Tory Party, favours the private car.   Millions of £££ have been taken away from Active Travel England (ATE) meaning that ATE has had to revew its priorities in order to survive.  It has decided that 90% of its objectives can be met by walking.  Not only does this mean that schemes that feature ambitious cycling measures won't be funded by ATE, it means that e-bikes (the game changer) will not be encouraged.  Six months ago, the rule was that only road schemes that featured approved Active Travel components would be funded by the DfT.  Now that has changed as evidenced by the revision to the Bognor-Littlehampton scheme.   National Highways look on the A259 as part of the strategic road network as it’s required to be a bypass for the A27 if that gets blocked (as we know from the ChEm route problems for NCN2 west of Chichester).  That’s why the WSCC report announcing the cut back version of the scheme specifically refers to keeping motorised traffic flowing.  WSCC has been discussing the scheme with ATE, who were initially not very supportive of the scheme due it being mainly a road improvement scheme with a walking & cycling bridge added on.  However bearing in mind their revised mandate ATE became less critical and provided some support and advice, so there will be some further tweaks to the Comet Corner roundabout to put pelican crossings on all 4 arms. The main casualty is the new bridge over the River Arun that would have provided a crucial link for cycling along the coast.