A list of top priorities for road improvements in Haywards Heath has been published by West Sussex County Council.
Public realm upgrades to both South Road and the Muster Green Gyratory, an east-west cycle route through Clair Park, new bus shelters and real-time passenger information screens, and improvements to the Commercial Square roundabout have been ranked as ‘level one priority schemes’.
They are all included in the Haywards Heath Town Centre Transport Study, which was carried out after the Haywards Heath Relief Road opened in 2014, allowing traffic to be diverted away from the heart of the town.
The study aimed to develop proposals that would make the town centre more attractive and vibrant.
All schemes are at the feasibility stage and no preferred options have been identified by the county council, and for any of them to go forward they would need to be included in WSCC’s capital programme.
The priorities were ranked by the Haywards Heath Town Centre Transport Study Working Group, which included elected representatives from Mid Sussex District Council, Haywards Heath Town Council, and the county council after consultation with key stakeholders.
WSCC’s Central Mid Sussex County Local Committee endorsed the priorities at a meeting on Tuesday December 15, and councillors requested that they were taken into account when future investment decisions were made by the county council.
The Muster Green Gyratory project would be the most expensive scheme, costing an estimated £2.52m, and would involve closing The Broadway arm of the junction to through traffic to create a shared space that could be used for events or markets.
New crossings would be created, while the Dolphin Road and South Road sides of the junction would be converted to two-way operation.
Meanwhile plans for wider pavements on the western end of South Road and a crossing between St Wilfrid’s Church and a new cafe in Victoria Park have an indicative cost of £880,000, while proposals for the eastern section of South Road could see raised tables at all the pelican crossings, and footway widening.
The changes would aim to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, creating a more attractive environment for shoppers and visitors to Haywards Heath.
Another top priority scheme could see changes to the layout of the Commercial Square junction to improve pedestrian crossings by widening the pavements and refuge islands. The approaches to the junction could also be narrowed to help reduce traffic speed.
A piece of public art could also be installed on the roundabout itself.
Level two priority schemes include public realm improvements in The Broadway, cycle routes to the railway station, and new crossing points on the Sussex Square roundabout.
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