Letter: Risk of creating another rat-run in Horsham

Highwood, Horsham SUS-180118-130808001
Highwood, Horsham SUS-180118-130808001

I have seen the e-petition to reopen the access gate to the Highwood development off Hills Farm Lane in Horsham and the counter petition to keep the gate closed.

I wish to strongly object to the petition to have the gate reopened. I have lived at Hills Farm Lane for 31 years, close to the Guildford Road junction.

Over this time the traffic has gradually increased.

While the Highwood residents had access onto Hills Farm Lane the traffic increased alarmingly, especially in the mornings. I have witnessed on many occasions traffic trailing back 300 to 400 hundred yards with vehicles trying to gain access to Guildford Road.

I have also experienced traffic fume problems and have had cause to ask drivers to turn off their engines from particularly highly polluting vehicles belching out fumes; it is most unpleasant.

The residents of Highwood knew that the Boulevard access would be closed off once the Highwood development reached approximately 50 per cent completion. To say that the Highwood residents are cut off from the town is an exaggeration. If they use their cars then it is only a short detour that they now have to make. They should consider using a bicycle or walk as many residents on Hills Farm Lane do. There is also a good bus service from Hills Farm Lane with a stop very close to the Boulevard Junction.

Hills Farm Lane is already a ‘rat run’ for drivers trying to avoid the town; adding more traffic will only make matters worse. I have on numerous occasions complained about vehicles speeding along Hills Farm Lane. Tanbridge School is close by and safety for the school children and pedestrians can only become worse with the increased traffic from Highwood.

Once the present A264 road that runs past Tesco to the Farthings Hill roundabout is closed off for through traffic all the traffic from the west will be routed via the new Wickhurst Green road to access the A24.

If the gate was to reopen drivers would become aware that they can avoid the Farthings Hill roundabout and access Hills Farm Lane via Highwood and that would then become another ‘rat run’ and the Highwood residents would experience increased traffic on narrow residential roads with all the negative impact this would have.

Is that what the residents of Highwood would want?

Ian Botting

Hills Farm Lane, Horsham