‘We’re risking our lives’: Broadbridge Heath bypass closure sparks safety fears

Residents at Highwood Mill retirement properties in Horsham are campaigning to get new traffic lights installed so they can travel to Wickhurst Green. Anthony and Linda Bridger. Pic Steve Robards SR1913841 SUS-190406-093944001
Residents at Highwood Mill retirement properties in Horsham are campaigning to get new traffic lights installed so they can travel to Wickhurst Green. Anthony and Linda Bridger. Pic Steve Robards SR1913841 SUS-190406-093944001

Residents say they are taking their lives in their own hands as they attempt to visit shops and friends in Broadbridge Heath.

People living in the Highwood Mill estate off the A24 are struggling to cross busy roads along a bridge between their homes and Wickhurst Green.

The stretch has become increasingly busy with traffic after becoming part of a major diversion route following the closure of the Broadbridge Heath bypass at the beginning of May.

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Anthony Bridger, who lives on the estate, said the rise in vehicles had made it nearly impossible for people to cross the roads and use the public footpaths.

He said: “It will take about 15 or 20 minutes to get across the road because no one will let you go. We have to take our lives in our own hands to get across as the cars are going so fast.”

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Anthony’s wife Linda is one of many residents who try and use the footpaths over the bridge. She visits friends in Wickhurst Green and also uses the route to get to Newbridge Nurseries garden centre and Tesco.

Anthony said he is constantly worried for her safety and has called on West Sussex County Council to install traffic lights or traffic calming measures in the area.

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He said: “We would like someone to do something about it because it’s very dangerous. One of these days someone is going to get seriously hurt or get killed.”

As well as concerns over pedestrian safety Anthony also said the increase in traffic had made it a nightmare for motorists to leave the estate.

“Considering these plans were made up ten years ago they didn’t account for the volume of traffic,” he said. “I think the council has made a muck up.”

A spokesman for the council said it was monitoring the traffic flow in the area. It will also be carrying out a traffic survey as well as checking and reviewing existing signals along the A264 and their timings.