While the details of the incident that caused the recent death of a young resident remain for the inquest to determine, the community is well aware of long-standing issues with the 30mph limit in the Abingworth area being ignored. There is a long back-story to the PC’s lobbying to get this situation improved, but this is the current situation:
April/May 2017: This pass of work around the southern access to the Abingworth Meadows housing development had been scheduled for some time, and involves:
Southern access junction area
Works here will improve sight lines and will involve:
- New signage for northbound drivers approaching from Jackets Hill;
- New footway north of the access junction and a new pedestrian crossing point next to Stringers Cottage. (Not, as yet, a light-controlled crossing but see Phase 2 plans below.)
- Footway on west side of B2139 extended southwards to northbound bus stop
- Both bus shelters will be replaced/reconstructed.
During these works, temporary bus stop arrangements have been agreed with Compass and WSCC Education Travel team.
Northern access junction area
We also need improved pedestrian crossing arrangements around the northern Abingworth junction, which is where the new shop and village hall will be. Following directly on from the southern works above (i.e. May 2017) will be works to improve sightlines and the pedestrian crossing arrangements around the northern Abingworth junction. This will include moving the current crossing north of High Bar Lane to a better visibility point slightly further northwards.
School bus stops – longer term
The Parish Council’s view that there remains more to do to make the school bus pickup points safer (preferably off the Storrington Road altogether), as well as continuing to improve pedestrian crossings. We will continue looking into the options and opportunities as the Abingworth development moves forward.
Further phases of Abingworth traffic calming works
The PC has agreed designs for the following further works with Abingworth Homes, but details and timing of delivery remain dependent on HDC planning and WSCC Highways consultations/approvals – see ‘who does what’ above. The phasing below relates to planning technicalities, but the timeline that the PC and the developer are seeking to work to is to deliver as much as possible of both phases below by early autumn 2017.
This pass of work is due to include:
- New village ‘gateway’ features and speed indicator devices at both south and north ends of the 30mph zone.
- Further improvements to speed control signage and road surface treatments, including ’30mph’ roundels.
The planned further works are as below. The detail of this is subject to further consultation with WSCC Highways, residents and other consultees.
- The addition of several further build-outs into the B2139 roadway to create a ‘pinch point’ priority system enforcing the 30mph limit through the whole 30mph zone.
- a new bridleway crossing near the northern access junction (at the southern edge of the new local worker housing). This will form a westward extension of the new east-west bridleway through the Abingworth site, which will rejoin High Bar Lane near the playground. The design involves the east side of the crossing being built out into the road.
- New 40mph speed zone over Jackets Hill, i.e. extending the current 40mph limit northwards from its current limit at Merrywood Lane; this will involve an additional vehicle activated speed indicator display;
- New footway along the east side of the B2139 north of Merrywood Lane, creating a safer link for pedestrians/cyclists between the edge of Storrington and existing bridleways and footpaths to the Abingworth area. This will include upgrading the full length of the Strawberry Lane bridleway.
Other areas of road safety concern
While we are currently focusing mainly on the Abingworth area, the PC is aware that there are real road safety issues in a number of other areas within the parish, including:
Rock Road area
We remain concerned about the safety of pupils commuting on foot/bicycle near the Rock Road school site, both at the Water Lane roundabout, and on the footways northwards, which cross the busy B2139 several times. Thakeham PC and Storrington & Sullington PC are pressing WSCC Highways to bring forward improvement schemes. Frustratingly, Thakeham already has potential funding available to assist with this (£60K from a past development), but has so far been unable to get WSCC to engage with this.
Picketty Corner (jct of the West Chiltington Road with B2139/Coolham Road)
This junction, and the stretch of the B2139 to the south, are dangerous with many recent minor accidents and near-misses. Although WSCC Highways have rejected a proposal for a new 40mph speed limit on the bends south of Picketty Corner, they have agreed to implement improvements to signage, road treatments and vegetation cut-back which should improve warnings to motorists and sight-lines.
Junction of Crays Lane with Goose Green Lane
This is a dangerous junction with very poor sight-lines for drivers emerging from Crays Lane to turn eastwards onto Goose Green Lane in a 60mph zone. WSCC Highways have agreed to add improved signage and vegetation cut-back works to their list of upcoming improvement works.
Other areas of concern regarding excessive average traffic speed
- The B2139 between Harbolets crossroad and Coolham;
- Greenhurst Lane.
We will move on to prioritise these areas as soon as possible.