‘Road to hell’ fears as a year of roadworks start on A29

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Drivers using the A29 are facing nearly a year of disruption due to sewage upgrade works at Billingshurst.

Roadworks spanning 1.5 miles are set to start on February 20 and last 48 weeks - prompting drivers to label it the ‘road to hell’.

Billingshurst High Street. Pic Steve Robards  SR1702122 SUS-170702-151602001

Billingshurst High Street. Pic Steve Robards SR1702122 SUS-170702-151602001

The Southern Water works are planned for Stane Street and the A29 bypass to support recent housing developments.

A spokesperson for Southern Water said the company had to connect the properties to the east of the village to the wastewater treatment works on the west.

Rolling lane closures will be in place moving west to east, with a combination of two-way and four-way traffic lights, manually-operated during peak hours.

The work is set to run until April 28 at Andrews Hill and the roundabout south of the village, and then from March 6 on the bypass itself, with the aim of finishing by the end of the year.

Southern Water project manager Mike Yung-hok said: “We understand the work will cause some disruption.

“We’d like to assure road users we’ll be doing all we can to minimise this and are looking at working extended hours to limit the length of time we’ll need.

“We’d like to say thanks in advance for your patience.”

But drivers using the A29 said they feared the worst, predicting long queues and rat-running as frustrated motorists seek alternative routes.

With the bypass disrupted, traffic could increase through Billingshurst High Street and past the Weald School.

Roadworks at Billingshurst station will also see the road and footway by the crossing closed overnight for three nights from February 28 to March 3.

There were delays through Pulborough last week as work continued at the junctions of the A29 and A283.

The improvements at Swan Corner have been widely welcomed by residents who had called for the junction to be made safer since the death of a woman in a crash back in 2012, and a string of more minor accidents and near-misses.

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