A24 road scheme could be rescinded

A SCHEME to align the A24 from Horsham to Capel, approved in 2003, could be rescinded.

The aim of the alignment was to reduce the personal injury accidents on the road between the Great Daux junction with the A264 and the West Sussex boundary in Capel.

However, in October last year central government announced changes to the way they funded local authority major schemes and identified those to be developed in the current spending review period.

The Horsham to Capel scheme was not one of them and a report asking the West Sussex County Council cabinet member for highways and transport to rescind it said ‘there is currently little prospect of delivering the improvement scheme’.

“Since the improvement scheme was approved, accident remedial measures have helped to reduce the incidence of personal injury accidents and in light of the lack of suitable funding opportunities, alternative, low-cost safety improvements now represent an acceptable and deliverable alternative to the scheme,” the report said.

“To protect the county council against claims for blight, it is proposed to rescind the scheme and to discontinue revealing the scheme in land search enquiries.”

The existing A24 is a single carriageway road which ‘meanders’ through the communities of Kingsfold and Clock House.

It had a poor accident record demonstrated by the accident data for 1997 to 2000 which led to the development of the improvement scheme.

However, the most recent data for accidents and casualties between 2008 and 2011 showed a ‘significant improvement’ in the number of accidents and casualties.

The county council also monitors the accident record in terms of vehicle miles which shows that the route currently experiences 23 collisions per 100 million km which is only slightly above the national average for rural A-class roads of 19 (2010 average).

As a result the route is currently ranked number 73 on the county council’s list of priority locations for accident remedial work and is therefore currently considered a low priority.

The report said, with housing developments planned along the road and the additional traffic it would create, there was potential for an improvement scheme to be delivered at some point in the future.