On 18 November 2019 WSCC Highways began work on plans to improve safety at the two Thakeham Road roundabouts (Water Lane and Rock Road). Unfortunately, as the works are substantial, temporary traffic light controls will be in place until at least late February 2020.
The background is that Thakeham PC and Storrington & Sullington PC agreed in 2017 that there were reasons for concern about the safety of pupils commuting on foot/bicycle to the Rock Road school site – at the Water Lane roundabout and around the school entrances – and asked WSCC Highways to propose ideas to address this. Substantial funds had been dedicated to this from recent planning consents in Water Lane, which stood to be lost if they weren’t used. In autumn 2017 Highways agreed to develop proposals for a community highway scheme in this area, but despite chasing there was no further engagement with either PCs or the schools until a fully-developed proposal involving traffic light controls at the Water Lane roundabout was suddenly announced in September 2019. Neither Parish Council had expected or requested a scheme involving full traffic light control, and several members have raised concerns about the proposals. However, the Highways engineers’ view is that their scheme is the only viable approach, and that by using latest technology “smart” traffic light controls the system will strike a good balance between pedestrian safety and vehicle flow. As the highway authority they have decided to proceed, and the issue is now beyond the influence of the Parish Councils. Further information is available here.