Delay hits construction of major new bridge across the A264 at Horsham

A hitch has hit construction of a major new bridge over the A264 in north Horsham.

Monday, 6th December 2021, 12:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 10:41 am

The bridge is being built to allow schoolchildren to safely cross the road on their way to the new Bohunt Horsham school which is due to open in January.

But there has been a delay in the delivery of steel for the bridge.

However, officials say that children will still be able to get to school safely in the new year thanks to a number of dedicated school buses being arranged to ferry pupils to and from the new school.

Delays have hit construction of a footbridge across the A264 in north Horsham. Pic S Robards SR2111182 SUS-211118-173235001

The bridge delay is the latest in a string of setbacks. After Covid first hit, groundworks on the new school were put on hold as building materials became scarce.

When Bohunt Horsham’s first Year 7 pupils joined in September 2019 they were housed in temporary premises in Hurst Road and were due to move into Bohunt’s permanent purpose-built school in north Horsham after their first year.

But Covid again scuppered those plans.

A spokesperson said: “Once Covid arrived in the UK, and lockdown became a word that Bohunt Horsham was all too familiar with, it was clear that the building industry would be adversely affected.

Nearing completion: The new Bohunt Horsham school

“Groundworks were on hold, building materials became harder to resource, resulting in a delay in moving to the new site, and to the build of the bridge over the A264 dual carriageway.”

But now Bohunt Horsham, part of the Bohunt Education Trust, has found a ‘short-term solution’ to get students safely across the A264.

Dedicated school buses will transport pupils who will be walking or cycling to the new site once the bridge is in situ.

The school has five interim bus routes picking up 355 students and serving an area south of the A264.

The spokesperson added: “These services will only pick up Bohunt Horsham students and will not be available to the public.

“The buses will collect students from various bus stops and deliver them safely to school.”

They added: “We have been incredibly humbled by the support Bohunt Horsham has received from Wates and their transport team, the Department for Education who are funding the bus routes, Jeremy Quin MP and West Sussex County Council, especially David Crockford, and our community owes them a huge debt of gratitude for their help and counsel.”

Bohunt Horsham currently accommodates 445 students in Years 7, 8 and 9 and will be accepting another Year 7 cohort in September 2022.

The primary and nursery phases of the school are due to open in September 2023.