Plan is bad for pedestrians

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The plans to dual the A2300, which are currently the subject of a public consultation, have one major flaw.

Although the consultation web page (https://haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/highways-and-transport/a2300/consult_view/) states that the scheme will “improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists along the A2300 corridor”, the opposite is true.

At present it is possible to walk or cycle to the Hickstead junction along Gatehouse Lane and Jobs Lane, with only one crossing of the A2300 being necessary. If the scheme is implemented as planned, this journey will now require crossing the access roads (both on and off) for three roundabouts.

It will block off two north/south crossings for pedestrians (Gatehouse Lane and Pookbourne Lane). I see no evidence that pedestrians will be given any priority where the new cycle path crosses roundabout exits, and was told that there is no question of a pedestrian underpass for the Ricebridge Services roundabout, on cost grounds.

If the scheme is bad for pedestrians and cyclists, it is even worse for horse riders: there are stables in Pookbourne Lane, just by this to-be-blocked-off crossing point.

Meanwhile, it is questionable whether motorists, the beneficiaries of all this investment, will actually see any measurable improvement in journey times. The A2300 is so short, and punctuated by so many roundabouts, that raising the speed limit from 60 to 70 will be a largely theoretical exercise.

If the scheme is to go ahead, I would suggest putting the western part of the cycle path on the south side of the road, starting from the end of Gatehouse Lane and running to the Ricebridge Services roundabout. This would be a much safer route, which builds on the popularity of Gatehouse Lane as a way out of Burgess Hill on foot, and would solve the problem of how to escape from Pookbourne Lane if you’re not in a car.

Richard Light

Midfields Walk, Burgess Hill