Works are currently forging ahead on a new multi-million-pound scheme to downgrade the Broadbridge Heath bypass.
Contractors are carrying out works on behalf of West Sussex County Council to split the A281 in two from the Tesco roundabout to the Newbridge roundabout.
The County Times has taken a closer look at the scheme to answer some key questions.
Why is the work being done?
Plans to downgrade the road have been on the cards for several years after it was outlined in the approved plans to build hundreds of homes in the village.
According to West Sussex County Council the scheme will 'help to improve access for residents, walking and cycling between the junctions and shopping and retail areas'.
The council says it will also help to manage through traffic movement on the A264, A281 and A24 as well as reduce traffic through Broadbridge Heath. It will help reduce traffic noise to properties along the bypass.
Who is funding the works?
According to the council funding is being provided by the developer as part of the planning approval.
What work is being done?
The A281 is set to be downgraded and renamed the C622. It will be cut off to all traffic except buses and taxis close to the western junction of the Tesco roundabout splitting the road into two sections. We have outlined the two sections and the works below:
Eastern end (Between Farthings Hill and Tesco roundabouts)
- The exiting dual carriageway will be reduced eastbound as one lane is converted into a raised cycle path and pedestrian footway
- A new cycleway and footpath will be created along the grass verges to the north of the A281
- Four signal toucan crossings are being proposed at the Farthings Hill roundabout. One at both the entrance and exit of the A281 onto the roundabout and a further two at the entrance and exit to the A24 southbound.
- Footpaths and cycleways improved and enhanced around the edge of the Farthings roundabout heading west from the Broadbridge Heat exit to the Farthings Hill exit.
- Current footpaths on the eastern side of the roundabout will be removed
- A ‘jug handle’ cycle crossing will be created to connect the new footway an cycle paths on either side of the A281
- Minor improvements to the Hendy Ford’s access
- Changes will be made to lane markings on the dual carriageway between the two roundabouts
- Improvements will be made to the crossing at the Tesco roundabout
Western end (Between Tesco and Newbridge roundabouts)
- Access to Billingshurst road from the Newbridge roundabout will be cut off
- Billingshurst Road will be re-routed and a new entrance and exit from Broadbridge Heath will be created further along the A281
- New pedestrian pathways and cycle paths will be created on the grass verges to the north of the road and will link up with new pathways leading to Farthings Hill roundabout
- Part of the A281 between the new Abbey Development and the Tesco roundabout will be downgraded and will only become a bus only section.
- The width of the A281 will be reduced
- A new cycleway and pathway will be created along the south side of the road near the Abbey Development
- Uncontrolled crossing will be created at the Newbridge roundabout
How long will the works take?
The council says the A281 will be closed from early April along with Billingshurst Road between Shelley Drive and Newbridge roundabout works. Bu routes will continue to operate throughout.
Works are expected to last eight months, ending in December.
Preparation works will be continuing throughout March with some traffic disruptions expected.