Call for action on ‘death trap’ A24 north of Horsham

JPCT 210412  A24, Warnhamn. Photo by Derek Martin ENGSUS00120120423125305

JPCT 210412 A24, Warnhamn. Photo by Derek Martin ENGSUS00120120423125305

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The A24 north of Horsham is a ‘death trap’ with mitigation measures required if 2,500 homes go ahead - according to one district councillor.

John Chidlow (Con, Southwater) described it as ‘one of the most unsafe roads in the county’ at a Horsham District Council Finance and Performance Working Group meeting earlier this month.

While mitigation is proposed on the A264 as part of the proposed 2,500-home North Horsham scheme, there are currently no plans for improving the A24.

Mr Chidlow said: “The traffic into and out of that site is going to be enormous. The A24 is currently a death trap. I think of it as A24 roulette, every time you go down there you might die.”

Potential changes to the A24 were also discussed at a West Sussex County Council Full Council meeting on Friday December 12. In light of a recent spike in crashes Morwen Millson (LDem, Horsham Riverside) asked what action the county council was planning and in how many of the collisions speed was a main or major factor.

James Walsh (LDem, Littlehampton East), leader of the Lib Dem Group at WSCC, said: “In view of the considerable extra new houses to be build in and around Horsham and in south Surrey in this vicinity is there not a case with Surrey County Council to look again?”

Pieter Montyn (Con, The Witterings), WSCC’s cabinet member for highways and transport, explained that the previous project to upgrade the A24 had been dropped due to £55m funding no longer being available, while the number of accidents had also been declining.

He added: “[The case for] reviewing this in light of development may well be there and will be merged in the traffic assessments when they do take place.”

Liz Kitchen (Con, Warnham and Rusper) added: “Can I add my voice to this to this particular concern and ask the cabinet member to pursue it.

‘‘If we do not get a bid in we will lose it. It’s a very very dangerous piece of road.”

Mr Montyn replied: “Safety is uppermost in my mind but we will be in the hands of what traffic assessments tell us.”

In a written answer he said they were reviewing the positions and conditions of chevron signs, bend warning signs and hazard marker posts.

Between November 2004 and October 2014 there were 16 reported injury collisions between Marches Road in Kingsfold and the Surrey border, with only one recorded ‘exceeding the speed limit’ as a possible factor.