Following the frustration of the installation of the vehicle activated signs in the Abingworth 30mph zone being set back by the contractor going out of business, latest news is that a new contractor has taken on this work and we expect installation to commence this month.
The latest on the pinch-point scheme is that the consultants say that they are on track with translating the consulted design into a detailed agreement with WSCC Highways; we will keep pressure up for the work to start as soon as possible. Monaghans Mushrooms have also agreed to re-start steps (including a planning application) to re-shape the front of their site, with features to prevent HGVs turning north up the B2139.
[October 2017] Traffic Calming: Phase 2 revised ‘pinch point’ scheme now available for comment
We have now finally received the revised/refined proposal for the Abingworth Phase 2 ‘pinch point’-based traffic calming scheme, which you can see and download below. The PC will be reviewing this scheme at its Neighbourhood Planning Committee meeting of Monday 23 October (6.30pm, Village Hall). The feedback that we give to the consultants who have produced the scheme will influence the detail of what is then formally submitted to WSCC Highways for approval. We want this submission to be made by the end of November, to allow sufficient time for Highways to consider/approve and for the developer to schedule the work for Spring 2018. Given the long history of resident concerns and the terrible fatal accident in March 2017, the PC is seeking widest possible community comments on the new scheme. You can give your input either by attending the meeting above, or email firstname.lastname@example.org by close of Friday 27 October. The PC’s planning group will take on board all comments received by then.
Abingworth 30mph zone phase 2 traffic calming proposals (revised).
a) Background and commentary on the proposals [Download]
b) Scheme drawing Click below to view the plan; before downloading, be aware that this is a large document and a complex one – reading the detail may require you to enlarge the image in your viewer.
Reduced speed limit over Jackets Hill
Although the scope of the proposals above are limited to the Abingworth 30mph zone itself, we are also continuing to pursue the extension of the 40mph limit from the northern edge of Storrington over Jackets Hill. WSCC Highways and Sussex Police have indicated that they are open to this, subject to the lower speed limit being supported by vehicle-activated speed signage, and financial commitment to this was secured from Abingworth Homes as part of planning permission granted for the revised phase 2 housing scheme in April 2017. We will continue to progress this in parallel with the scheme within the 30mph zone, aiming for implementation in 2018.
Phase 1 works – latest as at October 2017
We have continued working with the developer and WSCC Highways to deliver the ‘phase 1’ traffic calming measures around the Abingworth 30mph zone that have been approved in principle by HDC planners. These works comprise: vehicle-activated signs (VASs), village gateway features, and signage upgrades. Progress has been frustratingly slow due to the many steps required to get relevant Highways approvals and infrastructure in place (e.g. electrical connections to the locations of the VAR signs). However, we do seem now to be finally on track for this work to happen in November 2017.
Who does what
WSCC Highways are responsible, and are the decision makers, on all matters relating to roads, and road safety. Where road layout and safety issues are linked to housing/business development projects, that also brings in the Horsham District planning process. As in the case of the Abingworth development, planning agreements can provide funding and design proposals for certain road improvements, but the detailed design still has to be agreed and signed off by WSCC Highways. That process involves statutory consultations, including with the police, which are led by the developer. The PC’s role is to consult with and, via these processes, act as the voice of the local community to push for the changes that our residents want.
Abingworth 30mph zone
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.