LETTER: Strange ideas about road use

I had a letter published in this paper’s January 31, 2013 issue.

Saturday, 25th May 2013, 10:50 am

In it I explained what I was told by a West Sussex County Council’s Highways officer after I had tripped and fallen on the neglected cobbles in the road running through the Carfax in Horsham.

He said I should have crossed on a crossing which, of course, is ludicrous, because as everybody knows, there are no pedestrian designated (by lines or signage) crossings in the Carfax.

Visitors to the town who drive through the Carfax cannot be expected to practise telepathy to know that the speed ‘humps’ are secretly crossings, that pedestrians are supposed to walk off the pavement across them and the motorists, I assume, are expected to know this and stop for them, although the buses don’t seem to.

A couple of weeks after my letter, someone, who obviously knew what they were talking about in road law terms kindly wrote a reply which was published.

They pointed out that the crossing in Black Horse Way wasn’t legal without white zigzag lines and this has now been remedied.

It is amazing that the county council’s highways department does not seem to automatically know to do these things.

In the meantime, people are crossing the road all over the Carfax blissfully unaware that, they, as far as WSCC highways is concerned, should be crossing on two speed ‘humps’. People do cross on them but only if it’s conveniently close to where they want to be.

After all the upheaval caused by the road through the Carfax being repaired and when the work was finally completed I went to take a look at the spot where I had tripped with such devastating results just over a year ago.

I could have wept, the cobbles are actually in a worse state than they were before work began. In fact there isn’t even any mortar around them and they are sticking up like gaping teeth.

I know the company doing this job are capable of doing good quality work because of the efficient resurfacing operation they carried out over several nights last November along this stretch of road.

At the end of the day they are working for WSCC who should have inspectors – yes – inspecting.

Am I wrong, I wonder, to criticise WSCC highways? Is it actually Horsham District Council which dictates all these strange ideas being put into practise? Do they perhaps think that the Carfax wouldn’t look pretty enough with practical Zebra crossings. After all, their track record in sensible decision making isn’t the best.

For example, their hoping to close East Street to traffic permanently to appease the café culture businesses whose patrons can only sit outside for an increasingly small number of days in the year because East Street is a freezing cold wind tunnel for the rest of the time, overshadowed by tall buildings.

So why jeopardise the other shop owners’ livelihoods and disabled people’s accessibility for this?


Dorking Road, Warnham