More A24 delays expected as roadworks continue for third day running

JPCT 131113 Heavy traffic, Washington roundabout. Photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 131113 Heavy traffic, Washington roundabout. Photo by Derek Martin

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Roadworks are expected to wreak havoc on the A24 again as repairs to an underground cable continue this morning (Thursday November 14).

The district’s busiest stretch of road has become the highway to hell this week.

Motorists have been contending with heavy traffic and congestion since roadworks began on the A24 near Washington on Tuesday (November 12).

Earlier this week Steyning Grammar School pupils were forced to return home after being left stranded at bus stops because transport was unable to negotiate the traffic.

Deputy head John Young said the school, which has around 2,000 pupils, was not warned by West Sussex County Council prior to the works.

“We’re normally told but on this occasion we weren’t informed,” Mr Young told the County Times.

“It would be very important for us to have at least 24 hours’ notice so that we can inform coach companies and parents.”

He said a number of pupils went home while others arrived late.

Many workers also retreated home after waiting for up to two hours in the traffic - which was reported to be heaviest northbound between A280 Long Furlong and A283 The Pike.

But disruption has rippled across much of the A24 around the Ashington area.

Meanwhile in Horsham town centre, an inquest into the death of a Pulborough man was delayed after key witnesses were caught up in the chaos.

The dual carriageway works are being carried out by UK Power Networks and were expected to be finished tomorrow (Friday November 15).

Emergency work is being carried out to repair an underground high-voltage cable.

The firm has apologised for the disruption and stressed it was doing everything it could to minimise the impact to motorists and others affected this week.

West Sussex County Council said BT had taken advantage of the road closure to also get some work done.

UK Power Networks said on Tuesday: “UK Power Networks would like to apologise for the delays on the A24 at Washington. We recognise the inconvenience our work has caused but serious safety concerns meant we had to have particularly robust traffic management in place.

“Our engineers have completed a repair to an underground high-voltage cable to maintain reliable power supplies to customers in the area, and our reinstatement work will finish this afternoon.

“In order to minimise disruption as much as possible, we agreed to share the traffic management with another utility firm and they will remove the traffic management once their work has been completed.”