Lorry crash sparks new concerns over A29 plans

Concerns continue to grow over plans to upgrade the A29 following another crash involving a lorry.

Thursday, 8th November 2018, 11:47 am
Updated Thursday, 8th November 2018, 11:51 am
A29 near Pulborough. Photo by Google

Police closed part of the A29 London Road near Pulborough yesterday morning after a lorry left the road, crashing through a hedge and into a field. For more details on the incident see our previous story: Lorry crash closes A29

The stretch has been included in new Government proposals which will see certain roads across the country upgraded to create a Major Road Network.

The collision sparked further calls for the A29 to be scrapped from the plans, with many suggesting the upgrade will see more lorries use the narrow, winding road.

Bury resident John Thompson was driving through the area just after the crash took place.

He said: “The side of the hedge and the hedge row was totally wrecked.

“It’s not made for those type of vehicles that road. This lorry could have driven into a house and it’s only a matter of time before something else happens.”

The Major Road Network proposals have been drafted by The Department for Transport in conjunction with West Sussex County Council.

They outline plans to upgrade routes connecting to the A27 such as the A29 from Billingshurst, the A24 from Warnham, and the A264 from Broadbridge Heath, opening them up to extra funding from the Government’s National Roads Fund.

The county council said the Major Road Network was being created in a bid to reduce congestion and support economic growth by raising the standard of roads.

However, John said he believed the plans would lead to more lorries and heavy goods vehicles using the road.

He said: “We are getting a lot of lorries coming across the countryside. I would say we must have at least 400 nearly 500 lorries a day going both ways along the A29.”

He said the incident was not the only crash involving large vehicles he had witnessed along the A29 over the past few years and he was concerned for driver’s safety if more lorries were to use the route.

He continued: “It’s frightening to go along that road in rush hour. It’s terrifying at times. The road has got some really bad points on it especially at Pulborough where we have Lower Street and two mini roundabouts. It’s not really made for 40 tonne lorries, the road is dangerous.”

Similar concerns were raised by Pulborough parish councillor Andy Tilbrook in September after a lorry was involved in a two-vehicle crash in the village.

He said the road, which is part of the A29 stretch outlined in the scheme, had been dangerous for years and if it was upgraded it would be a ‘safety disaster waiting to happen’.

John added: “I think the idea should be that we keep the lorries on the A24 and A27 and not start having them have little rat runs through the countryside. They have got to stick to the main dual carriageways and bite the bullet and queue up.”

What do you think of the Major Roads Network plan? Send your views to [email protected]