West of Horsham and south of Broadbridge Heath village has seen a large expansion of housing since 2010, with further housing currently under construction adjacent to Newbridge roundabout.
Part of the planning approval of the housing included the developer providing funding for changes to the roundabout at Newbridge (A281/Billingshurst Road junction) and the A24 Farthings Hill roundabout.
The route was formerly the A264 (now diverted onto a new east-west link west of the Horsham development area and a new A24 roundabout) and part of the planning approval includes downgrading the old A264 Broadbridge Heath bypass; this will be known as the C622. For further planning history please email email@example.com.
West Sussex County Council (WSCC) was responsible for the design and delivery of the three parts of the Broadbridge Heath major highways improvements, which consist of:
- alterations to the Newbridge roundabout to restrict access into Broadbridge Heath village from the A281
- re-routing the Billingshurst Road along a new connector road to link it with a narrowed C622
- new shared footways/cycleways and improved crossing facilities at Newbridge roundabout
- a new off-road shared route linking Newbridge roundabout along the wide grass verge to the Tesco roundabout
- a new off-road shared route linking Tesco roundabout to A24 Farthings Hill, which will convert lane one of the existing dual carriageway to a raised footway/cycleway
- changes to lane markings on the dual carriageway link between the A24 Farthings Hill junction and the Tesco roundabout
- cycle and footway improvements to A24 Farthings Hill roundabout, including: the introduction of traffic signal 'toucan' crossings; raised south bridge parapet (for cycle route upgrade); widened footways; and minor alterations to entries and exits to the Hendy showroom and Shell petrol station.
The schemes, along with other local developments (Countryside Properties New Neighbourhood Centre, currently under construction), will help to improve access for residents, walking and cycling between the junctions and shopping and retail areas.
It manages through traffic movement on the main routes A264, A281 and A24, which used to use the 'old bypass' through the downgrading and closures (except for buses) on the C622, and redirecting this to the new A264 east-west link. These changes are in line with the overall West of Horsham Development area and Horsham District Council Local Plan.
Completion of works
WSCC appointed Jackson Civil Engineering (JCE) to build the highway improvements and works started on 7 May 2019, including the road closure of the C622 (Old Broadbridge Bypass, A281) and part of Billingshurst Road between Shelley Drive and Newbridge roundabout, with bus access only.
The scheme partially opened on 18 December 2019. Due to some ongoing verge and footway works, the scheme was completed on 21 February 2020.
JCE undertook public engagement throughout the works, which had been agreed as part of the developer’s planning application/permission. There is always disruption and inconvenience during major construction works and WSCC and JCE would like to thank all residents and businesses in the area for their patience and understanding during the planned works.
What happens next
(Position at December 2020)
An independent Road Safety Audit (3) was completed during May 2020, this is a standard process for all new highway schemes and relates only to the new works that have been built (so nothing outside the areas of the works). Some remedial items were raised and works to correct these with additional warning and directional signage was completed in November 2020.
Further remedial works are now planned at the A24 Farthings Hill for the nights of Wednesday 16 to Friday 18 December. These are to make repairs to the surfacing of parts of the roundabout and Old Guildford Road which were raised during the RSA3, the works to be undertaken are:
- replace surfacing at the off slip from Highwood Junction with the A24 Farthing Hill roundabout
- repair asphalt in front of kerbs at traffic island to Shell and Hendy Ford garages
- repair asphalt in front of cycle 'jug' handle at Old Guilford Road
- replacement of a sunken manhole frame and cover on the Horsham side of the northern bridge at Farthing Hill roundabout
- replacement of a rocking cover on a manhole opposite Shell Petrol Station within Farthing Hill roundabout
- tree clearance works within verges adjacent to the slip road approaching Farthing Hill roundabout due to Ash die back being present
- drainage inspection within the slip lane approaching Farthing Hill roundabout.
To facilitate the works, it will be completed at night (from around 9.00pm to 6.30am) in an attempt to reduce the impact on traffic flows during the daytime hours.
There is a requirement for the closure of the A24 off slip from Highwood on Wednesday 16 December with diversion via the A264 and closure of Old Guildford Road on Thursday 17 December, with a diversion via the eastern end of Broadbridge Heath village (via the 'connector road') and A264. There will be access restrictions to the Shell garage during this period. Friday 18 December will be utilised for a contingency shift should any adverse weather conditions occur during the previous working shifts.
Landscape areas have been tidied up and seeding was undertaken in October 2020, including wildflower seeding in two areas to support biodiversity; we are now seeing these areas starting to provide ground cover.
Issues relating to the Bus Gate are being investigated by WSCC. However, design work for an eastbound (towards Tesco) bus infrastructure is being taken forward at this time and an update on this will be provided in the new year. If you have further comments on this, please use the WSCC feedback form below.
Once all the planned highway works have been completed, WSCC will undertake a post-opening review of traffic flows, speeds and movements (at key junctions only) at the scheme and at key local junctions and routes/villages. Due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the economy and traffic patterns, this is not now likely to take place until WSCC can confirm traffic flows are nearing pre-lockdown conditions. WSCC continue to review this situation.
The rural shared path (pedestrians and cyclists) linking Newbridge roundabout, Connector Road through to Wickhurst roundabout (Tesco) is not intended to be surfaced with 'blacktop' or require streetlighting. It is an improved leisure route over the original 'trodden' grass track used predominantly by residents exercising their dogs and has been upgraded to blend in with the semi-rural nature of the verges and provide an improved link between key points. We note that it is being heavily used for access to the local school.
Feedback on the scheme should now be directed to WSCC using our online form.