Southwater’s roundabouts already ‘at capacity’ says new traffic survey

Southwater Parish Council's own study shows both Hop Oast and Pollards Hill roundabouts at capacity. Graham Watkins Chairman of Planning Committee and Peter Buckley Chairman of the Council . Pic Steve Robards SUS-151205-152939001
Southwater Parish Council's own study shows both Hop Oast and Pollards Hill roundabouts at capacity. Graham Watkins Chairman of Planning Committee and Peter Buckley Chairman of the Council . Pic Steve Robards SUS-151205-152939001
  • Two major Southwater roundabouts already at capacity says parish council
  • It commissioned a traffic survey for both Hop Oast and Pollards Hill roundabouts
  • Around 800 new homes could be built in and around Southwater

Two Southwater roundabouts are at capacity and cannot take any more housebuilding nearby without major upgrades, according to the parish council.

Horsham District Council approved 593 homes west of Worthing Road in February, and an application is pending for 193 units south of the village.

Both roundabouts are already operating at almost full capacity, findings which are in line with a traffic survey conducted by Keep Southwater Green itself.

Keep Southwater Green spokesperson

However, Southwater Parish Council has written to the Secretary of State for the Department for Community and Local Government requesting both applications be called in due to the unresolved traffic issues.

A traffic study commissioned by the parish council and carried out by the Russell Giles Partnership (RGP) says both Hop Oast and Pollards Hill roundabouts are already at capacity.

It found both were generally at around 85 per cent capacity during the morning peak, with the A24 northbound at Pollards Hill being at 98 per cent of its capacity at times.

Parish councillors have previously expressed serious concern over HDC’s own traffic study, which has informed the district-wide planning framework.

They believed it would be completely revised after HDC was told by the planning inspector to up its housing target from 13,000 to 15,000 homes up to 2031.

But instead HDC has commissioned a new consultant to produce an addendum to the original study, only looking at the impact of the additional 2,000 extra homes.

According to campaign group Keep Southwater Green (KSG) HDC’s traffic study used figures that were out of date and only counted traffic at Hop Oast on a single day, and never surveyed Pollards Hill roundabout at all.

A spokesperson for KSG said: “Crucially, Russell Giles Partnership collected more extensive traffic data from both locations.

“Their results point to the inescapable conclusion that both roundabouts are already operating at almost full capacity, findings which are in line with a traffic survey conducted by Keep Southwater Green itself.

“Southwater is faced with this situation today – before any of the planned new housing has been built.

“We are disappointed there have been no projections undertaken regarding the volume of traffic expected by 2031, nor any examination of the present internal congestion in the village at peak hours.”

HDC was approached for comment but at the time of publication had not responded.

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