Campaign launched over Broadbridge Heath bypass closure

The Broadbridge Heath bypass has been closed causing traffic chaos
The Broadbridge Heath bypass has been closed causing traffic chaos

As frustration continues over the closure of the Broadbridge Heath bypass a new campaign has been launched.

Part of the A281 between the Tesco roundabout and Newbridge roundabout has been permanently shut off to traffic with works currently ongoing to downgrade the stretch.

Broadbridge Heath bypass works: All you need to know

Angry motorists were stuck in huge tailbacks in the area when the closure initially took place on May 7 with an increase in traffic along Billingshurst Road and the A264 also causing chaos.

A new petition has now been launched calling on drivers and local residents to ‘voice their frustration and concerns’ over the closure.

It states the closure has led to an increase in traffic on small country roads in the area and has caused a bottleneck for vehicles passing through the old village. It also claims businesses have been affected.

The petition has been created by Helen Eade and will be submitted to West Sussex County Council’s Road and Travel department.

“We nearly walked home”... Fury at Broadbridge Heath bypass chaos

Plans have been in the pipeline for several years to downgrade the busy stretch between the town and Broadbridge Heath.

The £2m scheme will see the bypass split into two roads, stopping direct access for vehicles from the Farthings roundabout to the Newbridge roundabout. Motorist will now have to travel to each via the Billingshurst Road or the newly created A264 at Wickhurst Green.

Alongside the downgrade and closure new cycle routes and pathways are being created along with improved pedestrian crossings at both roundabouts.

Backlash mounts as Broadbridge Heath bypass chaos continues

According to the council the project will reduce through traffic in Broadbridge Heath whilst also improving connection between the old and the new parts of the village.

A spokesman said: The key benefits of this highway improvement scheme include; reducing through-traffic in Broadbridge Heath village, improving connections between old and new parts of the village, and providing new facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

“The principles behind the project have been in the public domain for more than a decade and were part of the 2007 Local Plan consultation.

“The Plan established the key aim of creating one community in Broadbridge Heath, uniting the ‘old’ and ‘new’ areas by removing the busy road in the middle of the parish, creating more north-south links, and encouraging both parts of the community to use the Neighbourhood Centre and the green space on the opposite side of the road.

“Horsham District Council approved the planning principles in 2011 when an outline application for 963 houses was given consent. The road downgrading works were included in the detailed application for the Neighbourhood Centre in 2018 and, again, this was subject to public consultation.”

However, the scheme has faced huge backlash with many branding the project as ‘ridiculous’ and a ‘waste of money’.

The council said following its completion it would carry out a full evaluation of the scheme and adjustments would be considered.

Adjustments will be considered’... Council speaks out over Broadbridge Heath bypass closure

To view the petition visit www.change.org