LETTER: Concern over Tour of Britain route

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It is splendid news that the Tour of Britain is coming through Horsham. I know little about such events other than what I have seen on television of similar events.

I feel however I must express some concern at the proposed route from the town centre to Handcross as shown in County Times. I refer to the route through Doomsday Lane, Hammerpond Road and onwards. I presume there will be a large number of cyclists moving at high speed.

Doomsday is a narrow lane ending down a short but steep hill to the junction with Hammerpond and a sharp right hand turn. At the junction there is a road sign in the middle of the road signing left and right which seems to me a considerable safety hazard for cyclists moving at high speed, especially if the roads are wet.

Moving on, the route will take them past Roosthole, always a problem, and where there has been at least one death in recent times. Then there is the very narrow dam at the end of Hawkins Pond with a steep drop on the right side. I am not sure from the route plan where they intend the riders go to Handcross.

If, as I presume, they will go straight on to Ashfold Cross Roads and then left to Handcross, this will take them over the very narrow dam at the end of Hammer Pond itself with again a steep drop on the right hand side.

I wonder whether this is a sensible route given the risks involved as I see it. Have the organisers actually been down these lanes and not just taken them off the road map? I am no great one for Health and Safety but has a risk assessment been done?

If so, fine, but I would hate to see the Horsham leg of this splendid race being anything but a great success. I must say the fact that my house and its two associated cottages are the only turning off Doomsday have nothing to do with my concerns.

I shall look forward to watching from my gates if they proceed and can assure you that I shall do my best to stop the peacocks and other wildlife that live wild in my garden from crossing the road!

MARK SCRASE-DICKINS CMG DL

Doomsday Lane, Horsham

Garry Mortimer-Cook, town centres and events manager, Horsham District Council, responds:

The route of the race was approved by both WSCC Highways and the Tour’s national organisers.

Of the options that were being considered, it was felt that this was the better means of accessing Hammerpond Road.

At this stage our role is confined to helping with local communication and the organising of a safe viewing area in Horsham town centre.

I am passing on concerns to the WSCC team who are liaising with the tour organisers directly.