Residents have questioned why roadworks in Haywards Heath town centre have been planned to take place before the new relief road has been completed.
The front page of last week’s Middy revealed that motorists could expect 18 weeks of disruption from next week (June 2) when South East Water carries out work to replace a water main under South Road.
Eastbound traffic will have to follow a diversion until September 30.
Residents have written to the Middy to speak of their concerns about the disruption.
Some pointed out that the relief road is due to be complete in July - if 24 hour works from July 25 to 28 are permitted - and disruption could be considerably reduced if the works took place after this was finished.
Richard Allibone, of Haywards Heath, said: “Why can’t the 18 weeks of roadworks commence after the bypass has been built? Surely the water main can be kept maintained in the meantime and the useless notion of a one way system won’t have to be implemented.”
David Macmillan, from Lindfield, agreed. He said: “If the offending water main has burst several times within the last five years then surely a deferment of repairs/replacement for two months to reduce the volume of traffic disruption and inconvenience to everyone would be sensible and justified.”
Chris Love, South East Water Delivery Manager, said West Sussex County Council (WSCC) allot a window of time in which the work could be carried out.
Mr Love said: “Although we are aware this work will cause an amount of disruption we hope that by upgrading this new pipeline over the school summer holiday period we will be able to limit it as far as possible.”
A WSCC spokesman said the council had responsibility to allow access to its highways. He said after considering what work South East Water was doing, how long it would take and the traffic management required, it concluded that June to September would be the least disruptive time to carry out work.
The spokesman said: “The County Council has co-ordinated the works to best fit in with the other activities on the highway that affect the traffic in that area to minimise disruption as much as possible.” n See letters page 26