LETTER: Plan tackles our road catastrophe

Your letters
Your letters

As a resident in this particular part of North Horsham - possibly due to be developed by Liberty International in the future - I do not agree with the sentiments expressed by your correspondent Jonathan Dancer in his letter to you (31/7), but I do entirely accept that one’s personal perspective is heavily influenced by where one lives.

I am one of the Langurstwood Road Residents’ Association, although I hasten to add that the views I give are entirely my own.

I do feel Mr Dancer is unfair when he attacks both the HDC and the Highways Agency but this is understandable as he will not be aware of what has happened in this area following the building of the Northern A264 Bypass in 1990.

This gave a wonderful opportunity for further developments which led to the massive enlargement of the landfill site, the emergence of Biffa, the doubling of brick production at the existing brickworks and finally the development of the Graylands Estate into small unit businesses.

But what was catastrophic so far as we were concerned was the WSCC Waste Policy in the 1990s whereby the majority of the Sussex waste along the coastal towns (Brighton, Worthing etc) was collected by vast heavy duty vehicles (HDVs) and transported northwards and finally filtered down this small erstwhile agricultural road.

One planning consent followed another over the past decade without due study of the traffic implications on a road which was never designed to accommodate such density of traffic.

The net result has been that there is a constant stream of HGVs thundering up /down this road together with all other types of vehicular traffic every minute of the working day. In the case of one resident the distance between the road and the outer living room wall is about ten feet.

The traffic flow is further compounded by the fact that the road is now used as a ‘rat run’ by commuters from the north in Surrey on their way to the surrounds of Gatwick and elsewhere.

Over the past decade - as conditions got steadily worse - the residents’ association twice pleaded with the Highways Agency to build a new road and although this was seriously considered at the highest level at the Highways Agency, each time it was declined on account of cost.

It is quite evident to me, although I do not of course know, that Councillor Vickers and the Highways Agency have negotiated with Liberty International an expensive side deal as a condition of the North Horsham planning development scheme. If I am correct in this assumption then I entirely support their course of action.

At last Councillor Vickers and her planning team have realised something must be done about Langhurstwood Road and have seized the opportunity which Liberty International has presented to them.

Finally Mr Dancer refers to the introduction of traffic lights at either end of the proposed new roundabout at Langhurstwood Road on the A264.

This will have the salutary effect of slowing down traffic along this very straight road. In particular at weekends the young men on motorbikes can achieve their ‘ton’ without too much danger but the whine coming from their machines breaks into the quietness of a summer afternoon.

I guess judging from where Mr Dancer lives he does not have any of these inconveniences nor being forced to listen to the roar of heavy diesel engines when sitting in his garden.

As I said originally, one’s perspective is influenced by where one lives. I don’t expect him to agree with me but - as they say - hopefully he will see where I am coming from.

J.W.R.C. NICHOLAS

Langhurstwood Road, Horsham