Cobbles a hazard for pedestrians

I had a very nasty fall in February last year, tripping on the badly neglected cobbles or setts on the road in the Carfax, Horsham.

I gashed my knees, one of which I think will require cartilage surgery soon, and finally came to rest by hitting my head on a stone plinth.

As you can imagine, I was relieved to hear a report that remedial work was going to be carried out in February or March.

I phoned WSCC Highways and spoke to an officer who confirmed that what I had heard was correct but it was not going to be as extensively done as was hoped.

I then explained why I was so interested, telling him where and why I had fallen.

‘So you were crossing the road’ he said. I replied that I was, he then said ‘So you were not crossing on a crossing’. But there aren’t any crossings in the Carfax I protested.

He kept insisting there were crossings and it suddenly dawned on me that he was referring to, what everybody thinks of as traffic calming speed ramps.

I said, but there aren’t any white lines across them to denote they are crossing places. ‘No, he said – they are not Zebra crossings’.

Well, call me old fashioned but I like to see white lines across a pedestrian crossing place, then, pedestrians and motorists know where they, stand, literally.

I must have asked about 50 people if they could tell me where the crossings are in the Carfax and without exception they all replied – ‘there aren’t any’.

There are WSCC crossings with white lines coming out of Piries Place car park, also in Blackhorse Way crossing from West Street into The Forum.

I went with my husband to the exhibition held in Swan Walk to explain what was going to be done in the way of remedial work to make Horsham town safer.

Apparently, the raised up areas which we think are for traffic calming are going to have larger slabs across along with the strips with raised up circles for blind people’s awareness.

If these measures are not combined with white lines, then motorists will be as unsure as they have been previously as to whether they are supposed to stop.

Supermarket car parks, combine white lines and precautions for blind people, you cannot really have one without the other.

It is reported that £80,000 has been allocated for the repair work in the three areas. This doesn’t seem to be very much, not even the price of a top of the range car.

I imagine that WSCC Highways, in this time of recession is finding it hard to allocate the money to carry out the constant maintenance on these modern paving setts, which now seem to have become an expensive indulgence that ultimately becomes a danger to pedestrians.

I agree they look attractive but what price a life?

Councils in other parts of the country are taking up cobbles, because they just do not stand up to the volume of modern traffic.


Dorking Road, Warnham