LETTER: Huge failure in transport plans

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I refer to Joshua Powling’s exposé that Liberty’s plan for a train station at its proposed North Horsham development is nowhere on track.

After many readers questioned Liberty’s numerous assertions that a Parkway station would be provided, we finally see the publication of some of the truth of the situation.

How does this affect the train of events?

Crest Nicholson proposed a development of 2,500 homes at Kilnwood Vale, West of Bewbush, which included a new train station.

On that basis Crest undertook to provide limited road-infrastructure improvements and Horsham District Council granted planning permission. The building of new homes is now well under way.

Despite repeatedly being told that, even with a closure of Faygate station, Network Rail would not allow more than one new station on the line between Horsham and Crawley and being told, by the leader of the council, that councillors had not been provided with all the information they needed in order to come to an informed conclusion, Horsham Desperate Council voted to continue to give a green light to Liberty’s proposed North Horsham development.

At the same time, West Sussex County Council has not been deterred from supporting the findings of the various, grossly understated, assessments of road traffic congestion and pollution which would arise if the North Horsham development was allowed to proceed.

Following intervention by the adjacent authorities (Surrey CC and Mole Valley DC) HDC has been forced to include in its revised Plan (Main Modification 23) the requirement that a ‘comprehensive transport assessment’ be undertaken ‘prior to the determination of planning applications for the site’s development’.

Any consequential works ‘taking into account all modes of transport’ will likewise need to be agreed with Surrey County Council (including responsibility for the potentially enormous infrastructure costs).

One can only marvel that such a huge failure in the transport planning process (involving road and rail alike) on the part of HDC and WSCC can have been allowed to occur.

The whole state of affairs is increasingly looking like a train crash.

C. MORRIS

Tennyson Close, Horsham

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