Letter: Flooding in Warnham

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REGARDING your piece about the speeding traffic in Warnham (March 1), a number of years ago the local residents made a film showing the congestion on the main roads around Warnham and the speed of traffic on the lanes.

We tried to warn the highways authority of what would happen when even more houses were built and great numbers of vehicles tried to get from A to B quickly.

The County Times gave lots of coverage to our efforts at the time.

The reaction of highways was to show concern that the pedestrian filmed walking his children to school did not have fluorescent jackets.

Let’s face it, you’d need an armoured vehicle to be safe on the lanes during rush hour let alone be a pedestrian, a horse rider or cyclist wearing a fluorescent jacket!

Another suggestion offered by the police was that to reduce the speed limit was ‘not enforceable’ and ‘if the lanes are left in poor repair it might damage cut through vehicles which will deter them from using the lanes’.

West Sussex County Council’s highways department has placed ‘not suitable for HGVs’ signs on a Warnham road, a two way road, a road used by horseboxes to access the Warnham equestrian centre and the route for buses to the village of Warnham, but Mayes Lane, a single track lane with ditches and soft verges, is suitable for HGVs! So are these signs enforceable?

The question is, is this just another Shirley Valentine moment ‘talking to the wall’? Back then residents signed the WSCC Safe Lane Drive Scheme - not all councillors did - a pledge to drive slowly on the lanes in an effort to slow other traffic.

The road calming scheme in Warnham village was doomed from the outset as buses drove straight over the mini roundabouts and the, now faded, speed signs and road signs were lost amongst the parked cars. The parked cars being the only really effective means of slowing the traffic as vehicles have to wait to pass, although the pavements are used regularly to speed up passing!

A stone’s throw from the village 30mph is a 60 limit where cars regularly leave the road and end up through the fence of the deer park on Broadbridge Heath Road; in the ditches of Robin Hood Lane; and in hedgerows of Mayes Lane.

Every winter the 60mph business traffic ends up in the flood where Northlands Road and Mayes Lane meet. A few weeks back I phoned highways to inform them of cars already stuck in the deep flood.

I also tried the police but got no reply. I told a policeman at Tesco but no action was seen. I had to phone the local radio station travel-line to warn business traffic of the danger of the flood to prevent a major pile-up!

I hope this time the residents that live and use the lanes every day will not be talking to a wall but will be listened to.

SALLY PAVEY

Mayes Lane, Warnham