David Moore: Wading through infrastructure inadequacies

Horsham Society
Horsham Society

It’s been interesting recently to hear how many potholes exist in our roads and how much it will cost to fill them in. You do have to wonder what’s gone wrong with our infrastructure and, whoever you talk to about why problems exist, you’ll find it’s not their fault.

Infrastructure problems became apparent in a different way last Wednesday / Thursday when, not too surprisingly, it decided to rain overnight and throughout most of the following morning.

Once again, we experienced the predictable nightmare conditions when walking into the town.

The first hazard was the lakes that formed in the pavements, where in places the surface had settled, which were quickly followed by the usual blocked drains, for example the one at the junction of Blunts Way and North Parade, which caused extensive flooding of the road.

The next problem for the pedestrian to face was the need to paddle through the ponds that formed on both sides of the North Parade pedestrian crossing, once again the result of inadequate drainage. Then it was up London Road and across Albion Way.

This crossing is never a fun experience due to the high traffic speeds but in the rain it really is ghastly especially when you get to the central reservation of the two phase crossing.

The poor pedestrians are stuck there waiting for the lights to change whilst the traffic creates what seem to be tsunami type conditions. You’re really lucky if you escape without a part of you becoming drenched.

Despite all this, the hardy masses plough on either for work or shopping. If they’re unfortunate enough to have to venture onto the Forum, people quickly realise what a mistake they’ve made.

The drainage still doesn’t work after all this time and it’s somewhere that’s best avoided.

Alternatively, one might go down West Street and into the Bishopric. The amount of water flowing through this area in the vicinity of the Shelley Fountain is horrendous and it’s just like walking through a fast flowing stream.

What’s worrying is that all of these are just examples of the problems that pedestrians face in the town.

It’s not any better for the motorist. We all know that driving through the rivers of water that flow across the roads or the lakes that form in various places create major safety risks not just for the motorist but also for the pedestrians, especially in built up areas.

What’s really of concern is that these and many other problems associated with some basic infrastructure needs seem to get worse and yet we continue to proceed on the crusade to build more and more houses.

All the plans seem to show how much thought has gone into the infrastructure requirements to cater for all the new homes and yet when push comes to shove we never appear to get what we were promised.

We have to get the basics right. Let’s deal with today’s problems first; don’t just plough on and create even more problems.

Things like drainage and road maintenance should be fairly simple matters to deal with.

If we can’t deal with these properly, what chance do we stand when we come to infrastructure needs such as transport and medical care?

The Horsham Society is concerned about the past, present and future of the town. It seeks to promote good planning and design for the built environment and open spaces. Membership of the Horsham Society is open to anyone, who shares these concerns. For more information, visit our website 
www.horshamsociety.org or telephone 01403 261640.