An exhibition aiming to inform people of the upcoming roadworks to improve Horsham town centre attracted hundreds of people.
An empty unit in Swan Walk Shopping Centre was filled for two days this month for officers from West Sussex County Council to answer questions about the £80,000 ‘facelift’ of Blackhorse Way, Causeway and The Carfax.
In the Carfax all the pedestrian ramps will be replaced and Blackhorse Way and the Causeway will be resurfaced.
Darren Faulkner from WSCC Highways, who was at the exhibition said: “It’s been well received. We have had more positive than negative feedback. Horsham District Council is the main force in getting this done. The ramps are going to stay and they will be built to last.”
He said the ideal would be to reset all the cobbles in the Carfax, but finances would not permit it. “To repair all the granite stones is a mammoth task. To have taken them all out and relaid them would take months and a vast sum of money.”
The work is due to start on February 18 and last for approximately six weeks. Traders and emergency services will have priority access to the The Carfax, but diversions are planned for buses and all other traffic. Therefore the Carfax bus stop will not be in use during the work.
County Council cabinet member for Highways and Transport, Pieter Montyn, said: “Horsham is an attractive town and we want to help keep it that way.
“The ramps in Carfax have become unsightly and must be upgraded to make them safe for everyone to use.
“We apologise for the disruption the work in the town centre will cause, but rest assured we will do our upmost to minimise the impact.”
Helena Croft, Horsham District Council’s cabinet member for Horsham town, communication and special projects, said: “I am looking forward to seeing how these important improvements take shape to make these areas safer for the public to use.
“It is extremely important that we maintain our infrastructure to a high standard, so I am pleased to see these important works being carried out by the Highways Authority.
“Thank you for your patience whilst the works are in progress.”
For safety reasons, sections of Carfax will be closed to traffic during the work.
It is anticipated the closure will last for six weeks – depending on weather - with a break over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
The break has been organised to accommodate the ‘Piazza Italia’ event, which takes place in the town centre on Sunday, March 29, 2013.
The closure of Carfax will be done in stages to allow as much access to the town centre as possible.
Road diversions will be put in place. The one-way system in Carfax will need to be made two-way for traffic for a temporary period in order for the diversions to work.
The closure of Blackhorse Way will also require a diversion route.
Here is a list a Frequently Asked Questions released by West Sussex County Council:
1. Why does this work have to be done?
The ramps have failed structurally and need to be replaced as they are unsafe and unsightly. The road surfaces in Blackhorse Way and Causeway have also badly deteriorated and need to be resurfaced to prolong their life.
2. Why have you chosen to do this now?
The work needed to be undertaken this financial year. WSCC wanted to avoid the busy summer tourist season, the lead-up to Christmas and the January sales. This left us with a February/March slot in which to do the work.
3. When will the work start?
Works are currently programmed to start on 18 February 2013.
4. When will it be completed?
To complete the package of works that are planned, it should take us seven weeks. However, there will be a complete break in the Carfax works to make allowance for the ‘Piazza Italia’ event over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
5. What time of day will the works take place?
The surfacing work in Blackhorse Way is scheduled to take place in mid/late March. It will take place on a Sunday night and work will start from 6pm. The surfacing work in Causeway will be undertaken during the daytime between 8am and 5pm. The works in Carfax will take place between 7am and 6pm from Sunday to Friday.
6. Can work be carried out in the evenings/overnight?
The resurfacing work in Blackhorse Way will be undertaken in the evening/night. The surfacing work in Causeway and the repairs to the ramps will be undertaken during the day.
7. Who is paying for it?
WSCC is paying for the majority and Horsham District Council is contributing a sum of money.
8. Which roads will have to be shut to traffic and at what times?
For the surfacing work in Blackhorse Way, the road itself will have to be closed to traffic. The closure will come in to effect from 6pm and will be removed by the following morning. Causeway will have to be closed when the resurfacing work takes place in this location. Carfax, South Street and Copnall Way will have to be closed for the ramp repairs.
9. What diversions will be put into place?
For the surfacing work in Blackhorse Way a diversion will operate via Albion Way and Copnall Way/Carfax (these roads will be made two-way for this purpose). No diversion route is required for the surfacing work in Causeway as the road is a cul-de-sac. For the ramp repairs, Carfax will be closed in short lengths, depending on which ramp is being repaired. The diversion routes will be along Carfax/South Street and Blackhorse Way (Carfax/South Street will be made two-way for this purpose).
10. Will retailers still be able to accept deliveries?
Deliveries will remain largely unaffected. Local diversion routes will be in place within the Carfax area to allow as much access to the town centre as possible.
11. Will the regular market be affected?
The Thursday and Saturday markets will not be affected by the works. Traders will still have access to the pedestrianised areas of Carfax.
12. Will this affect my bus journey?
Bus services will be affected by this work. For the surfacing of Blackhorse Way and the repairs to the ramps in Carfax, buses will not be able to exit via Carfax. As such, the town centre services will need to be suspended for the duration of the works. Services that use these stops will run from the bus station.
13. Will this have an impact on taxi ranks? The taxi rank in Carfax will be unavailable for use during the first two weeks of the ramp repairs.
14. Will this affect disabled parking spaces in Carfax? Designated disabled bays will continue to operate as normal.
15. Who is responsible for carrying out the work?
WSCC’s contractor Balfour Beatty and its sub-contractors will be responsible for undertaking all aspects of the work.
16. What about emergency services?
When the surfacing works take place in Blackhorse Way and Causeway, emergency services will still be able to gain access to properties in these roads. The ramp reconstruction works in Carfax require excavations that are 500mm deep. Unfortunately this means that it will not be possible for emergency service vehicles to be able to pass through Carfax. However, by using the diversion routes within the Carfax area, they will still be able to gain access to properties.