Drivers warned not to ignore ‘Road Closed’ signs amid safety fears

Van which ignored a 'road closed' sign SUS-161102-153232001
Van which ignored a 'road closed' sign SUS-161102-153232001

A warning is going out to drivers not to ignore road closure signs near Haywards Heath amid safety fears.

The alert is being sounded after a van driver disregarded a similar warning and ended up in a trench.

08/02/2016- Ciaran McCrickard Photography - South East Water water mains upgarde in Borde Hill Lane, Haywards Heath SUS-161102-153258001

08/02/2016- Ciaran McCrickard Photography - South East Water water mains upgarde in Borde Hill Lane, Haywards Heath SUS-161102-153258001

A temporary road closure is in force along Borde Hill Lane near Haywards Heath while a new water main is being installed by South East Water.

But this week the company said it was concerned that motorists are ignoring the closure signs and driving dangerously through the road works.

The possible consequences were highlighted in Kent last month when the driver of a van disregarded warnings and barriers and the vehicle ploughed into the trench, pictured.

South East Water has been upgrading an old leaking water main in Borde Hill Lane that has burst 11 times in the past five years since January11 .

To date, more than 650 metres of new pipe has been laid.

Desmond Brown, hHead of engineering at South East Water, said: “The safety of the public and our workforce is our top priority when upgrading water mains like this.

“Unfortunately there have been instances of motorists ignoring the road closure signs and attempting to drive through the roadworks, both during the day and overnight.

“This not only puts the lives of the motorists and their passengers at risk, but the lives of others, including our staff, too.

“With most of the pipe being laid in the centre of the road it is extremely dangerous for vehicles to use until it’s re-opened.”

West Sussex County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, John O’Brien, said: “We know that temporarily closing a road can be disruptive to the local community, however the decision to install the road closure was taken to ensure everyone’s safety.

“We urge motorists to follow the signed diversion around the road closure for not only their safety, but others too.”

The installation of the new water main in Borde Hill Lane between Copyhold Lane and a point 400 metres north of the junction with River’s Road is due to take around 18 weeks to complete.

Access to all businesses and restaurants along Borde Hill Lane, such as those in Borde Hill Garden, is being maintained.

Updates on the progress of the project can be found at: southeastwater.co.uk/haywardsheath