30 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, December 26, 1980.

THE £4m Southwater bypass was given the go-ahead this week by West Sussex County Council and, when completed, could herald major expansion for the village.

Phase one advance work costing around £280,000 is already under way. However, until this week the main construction phase, to cost an estimated £3.7m, has been frozen by county policy.

Now pressure from Horsham District Council to have the scheme lifted in the priority list has paid off, and the county’s policy and resources committee agreed that the scheme should go ahead.

This means that the second phase will now go out to tender, and Horsham District Council’s proposals for major new housing developments and industry in Southwater move a step closer.

Southwater was singled out as a village which would have to shoulder much of Horsham’s future housing growth in the district plan.

However, the district council has always stressed that new growth there was dependent on the building of the bypass first.

With the district plan in mind, the council asked the county’s roads and transportation committee earlier this year to recommend the building of the bypass as quickly as possible.

On November 21 the roads and transportation committee agreed to recommend to the policy and resources committee that the freeze should be removed and on Monday the policy and resources committee also agreed to remove it.

MAGISTRATES in Horsham have welcomed legislation proposed in the Government’s Transport Bill, which will clamp down on drink-driving, and alter the totting-up method of endorsements.

Chairman of the bench, Lady MacKintosh, said the reforms would be much fairer, and the changes were long overdue.

Technical defences drivers have used in the past, to avoid prosecution, will be removed by the bill.

For example, drivers would no longer be able to escape conviction by drinking between the time of an accident and being breathalysed.

Another loophole to be closed is that a police officer will not have to be in uniform when he makes the breath test.

The new law would introduce a points system making a distinction between minor offences and more serious charges like reckless driving.

So, if the Bill becomes law, it will remove the anomaly where three speeding offences lead to the same disqualification as three endorsements for more serious charges.

Under the new law a driver who collects 12 points in three years will be disqualified, so speeding offences, worth three points each, will no longer count for disqualification at the third offence.

Drunken driving will be punished by an immediate ban, unless the court decides special hardship would result from not having a licence.

Reckless driving and drunk in charge will be worth ten points, car theft will add eight points, failing to stop after an accident six points, speeding three points, and minor offences, like refusing to have an eyesight test, just one point.

CHARGES for leisure and recreation facilities operated by Horsham District Council are likely to go up from April 1 by as much as 20 per cent.

The council’s director of finance, David Gould, has indicated that a 20 per cent increase, where possible, should be made to meet financial targets.

Members of the recreation and environment committee were given the news at their meeting, in a report by Gordon Adams, the director of community services.

However the overall increase would be kept to 15 per cent at the recreation centre and 18 per cent at the Capitol Theatre.

“It is felt that an increase by the full 20 per cent at the recreation centres, particularly for certain children’s activities, is undesirable and would lead to a fall in the level of participation, thereby reducing income,” stated Mr Adams.