Arun councillors have agreed to ask West Sussex County Council to include a £625,000 road closure project in its Community Highway programme.
Plans to close Littlehampton’s Pier Road to motorised traffic between the junctions with Clifton Road and South Terrace have been in the pipeline for a while.
During a meeting of the economy committee on Tuesday (June 13), members agreed unanimously that a bid should be made to the county, which has responsibility for highways, to take on the project.
A report to the committee said: “It is expected that, if West Sussex County Council agrees to place this project into their programme, it will also be funded by them.”
Pier Road was closed during parts of the pandemic for safety reasons as social distancing rules made it impossible for people to queue at the various food and drink outlets without having to stand in the road.
A possible permanent closure was discussed with businesses in October 2021, receiving a mixed reaction, before a public consultation was carried out in the summer of 2022.
The consultation offered five options – permanent closure, seasonal closure, one-way opening running north or south, and do nothing.
Of the 864 people who took part, 380 (44 per cent) were in favour of a permanent closure.
Three schemes for the closure were drawn up, with committee members backing the most expensive.
If accepted, it will see the kerbs removed on both sides of the road to level things out, with new surfacing, a cycle path and a central drainage channel added.
Cycle racks, timber-faced concrete planters and bench-style tables will be included, with disabled parking spaces provided at the South Terrace end.
The scheme is expected to be put to the county council’s community highways panel as a Local Transport Improvement Project.
If it meets with the panel’s approval, feasibility and detailed design work will be carried out in 2024/25, with building pencilled in for 2025/26.