Horsham drivers’ fury at ‘dangerous’ road signs

Concerns about overgrown road signs were also raised in 2018, when this image was submitted
Concerns about overgrown road signs were also raised in 2018, when this image was submitted

Overgrown road signs and out of control hedges are ‘embarrassing’ Horsham, frustrated residents said.

Furious drivers took to the County Times Facebook page to vent their anger at the state of signage around Horsham.

Jim Vallance fumed: “So many warning signs are obscured all over the county as well as the direction signs... It’s embarrassing that we have got to this state of play.”

Steve Swain said the area looks ‘untidy, scruffy and weed infested’.

He added: “It is now becoming dangerous! The height of the grass/weeds at some junctions/roundabouts are blocking drivers’ sight line.”

Overgrown vegetation on back roads between Faygate and Ifield are also obscuring drivers’ views, according to Emma Ford.

The backlash comes as West Sussex County Council revealed that grass cutting of the county’s public verges is set to be reduced as part of a new highways maintenance plan.

Linda Beavis said the foliage is ‘a real driving hazard’.

She added: “I’m in a small vehicle putting my visibility at risk.”

Andy Rowe said: “It’s overgrown verges at roundabouts that worry me, an accident waiting to happen.”

Nick Beck added: “Lots of signs that were badly maintained got blown down a few months ago in the storms, and are still lying in the hedgerow.”

But some residents took a more optimistic approach to the overgrown vegetation.

Jo Staker said: “I approve of overgrown verges, with the exception of some dangerous junctions.

“They are good for wildflower conservation and wildlife. There is actually a movement towards not cutting verges so early or so often.”

Polly Barnes added: “We have become a nation who expects everything to be done for us.

“Whilst I appreciate there are certain things we cannot do, there are a lot of things we can do.

“When we start helping out in our community, we may well see a shift to people taking more pride in it.

“Litter pickers are a good example of what community spirit can achieve.”

Two weeks ago a spokesman for West Sussex County Council told the County Times: “As a Highway Authority we have a duty of care to ensure that where practical the limits of the public highway are safe, which includes a selection of road signs.”

But ‘challenging financial circumstances’ have forced the council to prioritise its ‘limited budgets’, he added.

The spokesman said: “[We need] to ensure the highway is safe and usable but also to ensure we are achieving good value for money.

“We attend and maintain all safety critical warning signs, including speed limit signs.

“All sites are assessed on their own merits and various factors are considered prior to identifying what works, if any, are required.”

The council urged private land owners to keep their vegetation under control so it doesn’t obscure signs or street furniture.

The spokesman added: “If land owners can ensure that their private boundaries do not overhang the highway and obscure street furniture, this would be a great help to us.”

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