Broadbridge Heath ‘lied to’ over traffic calming plans

JPCT 05-12-12 S12490366X Horsham, Farthings Hill from roundabout -photo by Steve Cobb ENGSUS00120120512100352
JPCT 05-12-12 S12490366X Horsham, Farthings Hill from roundabout -photo by Steve Cobb ENGSUS00120120512100352

Broadbridge Heath has been ‘lied to’ over plans for traffic calming to combat rat running - according to the vice-chairman of the parish council.

Angry and frustrated residents turned up to the annual parish meeting to hear a presentation on proposed traffic management and traffic calming measures from West Sussex County Council at St John’s Community Hall on Monday.

It’s bad negotiation up front and we have been lied to

Jonathan England, vice chairman Broadbridge Heath Parish Council

Although a range of measures were suggested to stop traffic cutting through the village, including modifications to Farthings Hill roundabout, these were labelled a ‘pipe dream’ with no funding currently available.

Jonathan England, vice-chairman of Broadbridge Heath Parish Council (BHPC), told the meeting: “It’s bad negotiation up front and we have been lied to.”

Many residents felt that measures that were promised when plans for 963 homes were approved at Wickhurst Green south of the village had not been delivered.

Viv Edwards, chairman of BHPC, described how disappointed and angry the parish council felt over the situation.

She added: “We have made our feelings very strongly. We we were let down as we were told the infrastructure would be in place.”

As part of the Countryside Properties development a new bypass has been built, which will connect the new roundabout near Newbridge Nurseries with the junction being constructed on the A24. The dual carriageway, along with the new junction, is scheduled to open later in 2015.

Richard Humphrey, a principal engineer at WSCC, outlined possible measures such as signalisation of Farthings Hill roundabout, which would include toucan crossings for pedestrians and cyclists, 20mph speed limits on some roads in the village such as Wickhurst Lane, Billingshurst Road and Old Guildford Road, and creating village gateways.

Another idea would see one arm of the Five Oaks roundabout severed, creating a new access point to Billingshurst Road further down the A264 bypass, as well as a new mini roundabout at the junction with Shelley Drive.

Other measures could see the junction of Warnham Road and Billingshurst Road raised up to slow down traffic, and there are also proposals to downgrade the middle of the existing A264 bypass to allow only buses to travel the whole length of the road.

However Mrs Edwards said she had received an update stating that implementation of almost every part of the road schemes were dependent on securing future funding.

District councillor Malcolm Curnock asked what had happened to £280,000 of section 106 money which specifically mentioned traffic calming in Broadbridge Heath. He said: “Why is that money not available to deliver what is the most important part of traffic calming through the village?”

Mr Humphreys replied developer contributions were usually released in waves.

Broadbridge Heath resident Martin Robertson said: “The traffic calming schemes proposed remain a pipe dream without the funding.”

An appeal decision over plans 165 homes and a 60-bed care home on land north of Old Guildford Road is pending and residents expressed disappointment that the county council had not objected knowing the likely funding shortfall.