Letter: A24 upgrade is long overdue

Like W. Morris (letters 22nd February), I too live on the A24 Dorking Road near Warnham and am concerned about the safety implications arising from the impending changes to the Great Daux roundabout.

Friday, 2nd March 2018, 10:39 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:56 am
Great Daux roundabout. Photo: Google Street Maps

I realise that the additional housing being built West of Horsham and the 2,750 new houses and business park planned by Liberty for North of Horsham mean road infrastructure has to be improved to cope with all the extra traffic.

However, enlarging the Great Daux roundabout on the A24 just seems akin to rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

What is actually required, of course, is a dual carriageway from Great Daux roundabout up to Capel. Currently this is the only stretch of single carriageway on this national primary route from the south coast up to central London and it has long been recognised as a dangerous stretch of road in need of improvement.

When I moved here over 40 years ago we were told there were plans to build a dual carriageway from Horsham to Capel. Those plans never materialised. Over the years, every so often, the subject has arisen again and new, expensive ‘consultations’ have been undertaken and new plans have been produced.

Indeed, in 1997 planning approval was granted for the construction of a new dual carriageway between Horsham and Capel. Sadly, nothing came of this either, with the result that more and more traffic is having to cope with the delays and danger of using this stretch of the A24 which is little better than a country lane.

A problem with improving this stretch of road has always been that part of it falls within West Sussex County Council’s jurisdiction and part in Surrey County Council’s. When one council has the inclination and the wherewithal, the other doesn’t and vice versa.

Even the Government Inspector, when he came to review Horsham District Council’s Planning Framework and the proposed Liberty development north of Horsham, had something to say about the A24 problem and following his intervention the framework had to be modified to include the words, and I quote: “...other measures TO BE FUNDED BY THE DEVELOPER to ensure continued safe and efficient operation of STRATEGIC and local road networks INCLUDING OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT BOUNDARY”. (My caps). This followed representations from Mole Valley District and Surrey County Councils. They know the impact all the extra housing near Horsham is going to have on the A24 and our council has a duty to co-operate with them.

I had hoped that when granting permission for the huge North of Horsham development, Horsham District Council would have seized the opportunity to insist Liberty contributes funds for improving the A24. Sadly, with an agreement for a Community Infrastructure Levy of absolutely zero, this hope was dashed too.

We now learn that the developers are in line to make windfall profits from North of Horsham (due to the use of out-of-date Viability Study figures etc as revealed by Paul Kornycky) so perhaps we could call on their good nature to cough up some of those squillions to make a contribution to a new dual carriageway?

I already dread having to sit in my car in the middle of the road, waiting for a break in oncoming traffic so I can turn into my driveway, whilst hoping that the boy racer screeching up behind me is going to notice my indicators and flashing brake lights and stop in time. Unless we get that dual carriageway, things can only get worse in the future.

Sheila White

Dorking Road, Warnham