Breakthough from Bolnore as bulldozers forge missing link

From Rocky Lane, looking south west, the foreground show the path of the new road
From Rocky Lane, looking south west, the foreground show the path of the new road

Bulldozers have made a breakthrough as the missing link is forged in the final stretch of the Haywards Heath relief road.

Long ago in a more romantic age with barely a car to be seen ardent young men would cycle up the winding, hilly unlit and uneven road from the then small town of Burgess Hill to woo girlfriends in sedate Haywards Heath.

Many years later as both towns grew towards each other with the building of hundreds of new homes the road provided a pleasing rural route between two fast-expanding communities.

With its dips and cambers and bends the road has its dark side. outwitting painfully dozens of drivers whose concentration or care momentarily lapsed, though there have been remarkably few deaths.

Now drivers who once enjoyed a drive down a country road are seeing a new harder vista as one of the oldest routes in Mid Sussex is bulldozed well into the 21st century.

A gaping hole has revealed a widescreen panorama of the Bolnore estate and fields to its south never seen by cyclists and drivers.

A road will be laid through that gap across the current Rocky Lane and sweep eastwards to a new multi-million pound crossing over the London-Brighton line, and the entrance site for that section of road and a roundabout can be clearly seen. Houses on the eastern side will increase the urban feel of the area and narrow the gap between homes in Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill.

Drivers have already been warned to expect delays, and a combination of traffic lights and wary workers wielding “Stop” and Go” “lollipop” signs is keeping the traffic moving as best as possible as work is done further up Rocky Lane.

With the other section of relief road south of the Princess Royal Hospital almost complete, the landscape of two attractive areas of Mid Sussex will soon have a vastly different outlook for future generations.