A major road between Broadbridge Heath and Horsham is set to close as controversial works forge ahead to downgrade a busy route.
The A281 Broadbridge Heath bypass will shut next month as contractors begin a £2 million scheme to downgrade the stretch between the Farthings roundabout and the Newbridge roundabout.
West Sussex County Council has confirmed the road will shut on Tuesday May 7 and will remain closed until the autumn.
As part of the works a section of the Billingshurst Road will also be closed between the Newbridge roundabout and Shelley Drive.
A council spokesman said: “We realise that works of this nature can be inconvenient for residents and would ask for your understanding and patience while we complete this project.
“Shops and businesses in Broadbridge Heath will be able to open as usual throughout.”
Plans have been in the pipeline for several years to downgrade the busy stretch between the town and Broadbridge Heath.
The works will see the road split in two at the Tesco roundabout and renamed the C622. Vehicles will no longer be able to drive directly from the Farthings roundabout to the Newbridge roundabout and instead will have to travel to each via the Billingshurst Road or the newly created A264 at Wickhurst Green.
The scheme will also see new pedestrian and cyclist routes created along the stretch and improvements made to both roundabouts.
The council said it initially planned to close the road on April 29 however, due to upcoming bank holidays it was agreed to move the closure back a week.
A spokesman added: “Temporary traffic management, including vehicle messaging signs, will direct motorists through a signed diversion to ensure access is maintained for traffic visiting the area and create a safe work zone for the construction team. Access for buses and emergency vehicles will be maintained throughout the works.”
According to the council downgrading the road will reduce traffic related noise in the village as well as reduce the amount of vehicles travelling through Broadbridge Heath.
The plans have faced huge backlash from residents with many branding them ‘ridiculous’ and a ‘waste of money’.
For more on the changes and maps and diagrams visit the County Times website.