Warnham A24 - the forgotten the dual carriageway project?

Kingsfold Development.Green fields around Kingsfold hamlet are under threat of development. A24 towrds Dorking. Kingsfold, Horsham. Picture : Liz Pearce. LP200914KD18 SUS-140920-193032008
Kingsfold Development.Green fields around Kingsfold hamlet are under threat of development. A24 towrds Dorking. Kingsfold, Horsham. Picture : Liz Pearce. LP200914KD18 SUS-140920-193032008
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In February 1997 the Warnham Warbler parish magazine proudly reported approval had been given to build a new dual carriageway between Warnham and Capel.

County Times reader Wendy Worsfold sent the paper the article announcing Surrey and West Sussex County Councils had given the green light for the work on the Dorking/Horsham Road, between the Great Daux and Clarks Green roundabouts. It was expected to be complete by 2000.

But that stretch, which spans the county boundaries, is still awaiting that improvement partly due to its cost, valued nine years ago at £57.3m.

The article tells of the challenges in reaching approval.

It says some residents of Station Road put forward concerns about the visual and noise effects on their homes and amendments were put forward to build part of the Warnham end of the scheme on an embankment.

Rather ironically, the article states: “Changes to the proposed route at the Surrey end resulted in some delays and fears the whole project might fall behind schedule.”

The County Times of the day reported the news of the planning approval on the front page alongside a report of another fatal on that stretch.

It says West Sussex County Council officers told the planning committee there were 104 injuries on the Warnham to Capel stretch between January 1 1991 and November 30 1996.

This was echoed in the Warbler piece, which optimistically concluded: “Let us hope the talking is over - and the job can be done before anyone else is killed!”

Bids to carry out work have carried on to this day as it has continued to be a dangerous stretch of road.

So what now for the Dorking/Horsham Road?

West Sussex County Council confirmed discussions were ongoing.

A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: “The scheme was rescinded in 2011 because the casualty record had improved and at the time, there was limited prospect of securing funding to deliver the scheme which was estimated in 2006 to cost £57.3m.

“More recently, in discussions with Surrey County Council and Horsham District Council regarding the Horsham District Planning Framework (HDPF), we have agreed to revisit whether there is a need for an improvement to provide highway capacity for future growth towards the end of the plan period which ends in 2031.”

Each time a planning application for a major development is approved, an agreement is made between the council and developer to ensure infrastructure including roads can cater for the new residents.

Residents will be hoping that with the HDPF housing blueprint is set to see thousands of homes built north of the town, the A24 will be a top priority for improvements.