Update: Major roadworks mean months of diversions for buses in Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath
Buses in Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill will be diverted during four months of major roadworks to lay a new water main.
The work is set to begin on Tuesday (April 6) at Fox Hill/Ditchling Road in Haywards Heath.
Metrobus routes 271 and 272 will be affected and buses will not be able to serve stops between Rocky Lane, Haywards Heath, and Church Road, Burgess Hill
The roadworks are expected to last 15 weeks.
Martin Harris, Brighton & Hove and Metrobus managing director, said the diversion was unavoidable and that South East Water’s plan to lay 464 metres of a new water main was essential work.
He said that the bus company had looked at two possible diversions.
“One option would have added at least 20 miles and half an hour on to each round trip, which would have been completely unacceptable for our passengers,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we were left with only one other option, which adds only five minutes in each direction, but that means we can’t serve any stops between Rocky Lane and Church Road,” he added.
Martin said: “I sincerely regret the pain and inconvenience that I know this will cause some of our passengers.
“We are working closely with the affected local councils and South East Water to keep passengers informed and to minimise the disruption to passengers’ journeys as we help to support this vital work.
“The timing is really unfortunate as the importance of getting passengers urgently back to public transport and preventing the recovery being undermined by increasing car congestion is widely recognised and is emphasised in the government’s recently published National Bus Strategy.”
The diversion route will be via Rocky Lane, A272 Traustein Way, Issacs Lane, London Road and Queen Elizabeth Avenue in both directions.
Martin said advanced warning notices have been put on every affected stop and local councils have been informed.
South East Water said that the company is investing £250,000 to improve Haywards Heath’s drinking water supplies with the new water main.
The company added that the new pipe along Fox Hill (B2112) would allow it to pump more quality drinking water into the area at the correct pressure as the community grows.
Matthew Cooper, South East Water project manager, said: “Due to the nature of the work being carried out, we will be closing Fox Hill (B2112) between Rookery Way and Cape Road to keep pedestrians, motorists and our workforce safe.
“I appreciate road closures can be an inconvenience and I thank the residents of Haywards Heath in advance for their patience while we carry out this essential project.
“Access to residents and emergency services will be maintained throughout.”
On Wednesday (March 31) Metrobus said that route 270 will now be diverted from World’s End to provide a service to Junction Road and Burgess Hill Station.
People can find a map showing the diversion route here.
Marie Sansom, Brighton & Hove Buses communications manager, said: “Compass Bus will accept Metrobus tickets or passes on their services between Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill on routes 33 and 166, under an agreement with West Sussex County Council.
“Passengers with key cards or printed Metroriders will be able to use the Compass Bus services to reconnect with our services in Burgess Hill or Haywards Heath.”