Mums call for action over path to bypass

Concerned residents by the public access way which is near a busy bypass. Picture: Steve Robards
Concerned residents by the public access way which is near a busy bypass. Picture: Steve Robards

Three Haywards Heath mothers went through every parents’ nightmare after their children strayed towards a busy road.

They are now calling for work to be done to a public access way near a busy bypass.

Remya Prasannah, 37, of Old Farm Close, said losing her three-year-old son Madhav was ‘the worst day of her life’.

She said: “He was playing outside. I went inside for a minute and lost eye contact for a second and then suddenly he was gone.

“Police then turned up with him and told me a jogger had found him near the bypass. I was so relived – it was the worst day of my life.”

The public access way, owned by Crest Nicholson, which can be found just off the development, has no gate.

Mum-of-two Jessica Aubrey-Watson, 22, was ‘devastated’ when her two-year-old daughter, Scarlet went missing.

She said: “I was outside and I was looking at Scarlet and one of the other kids started talking to me.

“By the time I looked around Scarlet had gone. None of the kids had been near the road before and I never leave them alone.

“The next minute this woman Kate was holding her and told me Scarlet had got up to the bypass.

“I was crying and devastated, I didn’t know this woman holding my child but I was so grateful.”

Kate Johnstone, 50, of Scaines Hill said finding Scarlet was a ‘shock to the system’.

She said: “I got out of my car and left it on the road to get her. It was a shock to the system.

“It is an ideal development for kids but there is potential for them to go onto the road.”

Amy Mcquade, 29, from Haywards Heath, was left in ‘panic mode’ when her three-year-old son Frankie got onto the bypass.

She said: “I was terrified and went into panic mode. I felt so angry but relived at the same time. There should be a proper gate there. It is not safe.”

Sir Nicholas Soames, Mid Sussex Conservative parliamentary candidate, confirmed a gate had been ordered.

He added: “I have done everything I possibly can to get this done.”

A Crest Nicholson spokesman said: “We are aware of residents’ safety concerns and are currently reviewing the footpath access with West Sussex County Council Highways.

“While the footpath in question has been constructed in accordance with plans approved by WSCC Highways, we take all safety concerns very seriously as the wellbeing of the public and our residents is our number one priority.”

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