Complaints continue that the new A272 isn’t diverting traffic from Haywards Heath town centre.
Well, if you’re driving northwards from Wivelsfield, and either don’t know the local roads too well, or haven’t used them to get to Haywards Heath (HH for short...) since the road changes, you may well not get there!
Shortly after the bend with the railway viaduct on your left, you’re presented with the first of half a dozen new roundabouts. The first offers you the choice of left to Billinghurst and Cuckfield (B & C), or right to Uckfield. Nothing to suggest which way for HH, but If you happen to know there’s another main road to the west which leads there, take an educated guess and turn left. The next
roundabout offers a straight on to ‘B & C’ plus Burgess Hill (BH) or right to ‘Bolnore’, which we all know is a suburb of HH - don’t we? Might be worth taking a chance and go that way, although I doubt if the residents would want that. So keep straight on to ...the next roundabout (*) which offers the same ‘straight on for ‘B, C and BH’, with nothing to show where the right turn might take you. (* A roundabout is ‘Rondo’ in Polish, which is rather neat – and much shorter. I like it...)Finally, Rondo No. 4 admits that there is a HH after all (although you’ve still half a mile to go!)
Had you opted for a right turn at Rondo No.1, it’s several more minor rondos, all serving new
building estates, before one that proudly offers a left turn to... wait for it...’Town Centre’. Have you arrived in Uckfield already? No, it really is dear old HH!
Just who is in charge of road signs in Sussex? If their Christmas bonus is coming gift-wrapped, and they live in HH, I only hope Santa has a Satnav for deliveries! But maybe that’s the idea: no Satnav, then no Haywards Heath? Might explain all the charity shops there.
Paul King, Hassocks