Notorious A24 is subject of safety review after numerous fatalities

JPCT 300813 S13360201x Horsham. A24. Two vehicle collision -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 300813 S13360201x Horsham. A24. Two vehicle collision -photo by Steve Cobb

The A24 - which has been plagued by numerous road traffic collisions resulting in death or serious injury this summer - is the subject of a safety study by West Sussex County Council (WSCC).

Figures obtained by the County Times this week reveal a section of the notorious carriageway has an accident rate far greater than the national average for rural A roads.

Since July 2013 this newspaper has reported on four fatalities as a result of collisions on the A24 from Ashington to the Surrey border near Kingsfold.

As well as deaths many motorists have suffered serious injuries.

All A and B roads are routinely monitored by WSCC for their collision rates and prioritised for inclusion in the route safety programme.

The local authority said this week a review is being carried out on a large stretch of the A24.

Focus will fall on the road between Great Daux and the Surrey border which has been the subject of numerous campaigns by Warnham residents keen to see the implementation of traffic calming measures.

On this stretch of rural A road there have been 24 accidents - five of which were serious - and three fatalities from the beginning of August 2010 to the end of July this year, says WSCC.

It says the accident rate is 517 per billion miles. This is more than 200 greater than the national rural A road of 293 accidents per billion miles.

The route safety study will replace any damaged or missing warning signs, making improvements to them if necessary and making minor alterations to the bend north of Station Road in Warnham.

Recently the road was resurfaced from the Great Daux roundabout to the Knob Hill junction and new high friction surfacing was applied to the Station Road and Bell Road junctions.

Proposed major improvements for the A24 between Southwater and Ashington were thrown out after WSCC was unsuccessful in securing funding from central Government during the last spending review.

A spokesman said: “It is unlikely that these schemes will be resurrected in the foreseeable future’.

“It is not true that WSCC are not treating the A24 as a road safety priority.

“The authority has a robust road death investigation process undertaken by the Road Death Investigation (RDI) Group.

“The Cyclic Maintenance Team Leader assisted by members from the local highways team attend and inspect the scene within 72 working hours following an incident, initially to establish if there are any immediate safety issues caused by the incident that need fixing.”