A24 layby causing ‘serious’ risk

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Flooding and a badly-placed road sign are putting drivers in danger on the A24, concerned residents say.

A layby next to the A24 northbound near Ashington is prone to flooding, and drivers who try to avoid the flood water end up making a dangerous exit back onto the A24.

In a message to West Sussex County Council’s (WSCC) highways department, Spring Gardens resident Jeannie Knight said: “Residents here have to access the A24 via the layby and we are all furious that we have to continually drive through flood water at the slightest hint of rain, with the water lapping round our vehicle doors.

“It is not just Spring Gardens residents who are affected, but others in The Orchards, various farms ( around 40 homes in all whose access to the A24 is through the layby) plus the farm shop, plus visitors to the farm shop and auction rooms of Rupert Toovey.

“There is also a serious safety aspect of this. We have frequently seen visitors to the above businesses, doubling back along the layby and trying to exit through the entrance, unaware of the no-exit signs placed in view of The Orchards and Spring Gardens.

“They are there for a very good reason- anyone trying to exit there would have to swing wide across two lanes of fast-moving traffic (70mph most times).

“This has been going on far too long. There is going to be a multiple fatality one day.”

Mrs Knight said the waters can get so deep that drivers can find water seeping into their vehicles.

“My husband and myself have become so fed up with the situation and having water seeping into our previous cars that we have changed them.

“He now has a Land Rover and I have swapped my low Kia Schuma for a high Suzuki Jimny - and water still often laps round the door bottoms.”

She said another Spring Gardens resident had suffered water damage to his central locking, costing £131 to repair.

“Around two years ago it had become so bad that county councillor Philip Circus took up the case with WSCC on our behalf. He had experienced the situation for himself after visiting an auction at Rupert Tooveys, situated behind Spring Gardens nurseries.

“He described it as ‘like driving through a swimming pool’.”

A WSCC spokesman said: “We have booked a contractor to go and inspect the problem again. This will be done the first week of December.”

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