West Sussex County Council have detailed how collaboration between s developer, councillors, Highway officers and the MP for Mid Sussex led to a solution for reduced disruption while a busy road in Burgess Hill is closed.
Fairbridge Developments (FDL) has revised closure plans for the Cuckfield Road/Fairbridge Way roundabout junction to improve access to businesses north of the roundabout. This follows residents and businesses raising significant concerns with MP Mims Davies, County Councillor Pete Bradbury and Mid Sussex District Councillor Robert Salisbury.
The Council says FDL took up the challenge presented to the company, so rather than a full closure of this junction for the duration of these works, plans are now in place, and agreed with West Sussex Highways, for a northern/one-way route to be retained into Cuckfield Road at this junction for all but two separate seven-day periods.
Works start on 7 February and the southbound closure is now set to run from the 9 February, with a full reopening on the 15 May, subject to factors such as severe weather. FDL has agreed to accept the additional costs associated with these changes as part of its continued commitment to minimise disruption to local businesses and the highway network generally. A diversion route will be in place for all south-bound traffic.
Access will be retained throughout the works to the County Council’s Recycling Centre and Travellers’ Site via Fairbridge Way.
An FDL spokesperson said: “We listened to the concerns raised by Mims Davies MP and her colleagues, explored a possible solution with West Sussex County Council and are pleased to have been able to find a way to reduce the original duration of road closure, improve access to Cuckfield Road while highway works are undertaken and ameliorate the impact on local businesses.”
Mims Davies, MP, commented: “I’m delighted West Sussex County Council and FDL have positively worked together with Cllr Bradbury, Cllr Salisbury and myself to find a necessary solution to keep access open to Cuckfield Road, except for a very limited time. It is essential we support our local businesses bounce back from the pandemic and I know, from those who had directly approached me to assist them make progress, they were very worried about the potentially devastating impact a full closure would have had.”
She continued: “This is an extensive and vital roads project as part of the greater Northern Arc works and I gratefully thank FDL for positively working with us all over the last few weeks to implement amended plans to protect these businesses and help them to thrive alongside the project.”
Pete Bradbury, County Councillor for the Cuckfield and Lucastes division, said: “These roadworks are a necessary but unwelcome disruption and I’m very pleased we’ve been able to find a way to help local businesses, such as the Oak Barn.”
Cllr Bradbury’s fellow Cuckfield ward Mid Sussex District Councillor, Robert Salisbury, said: “I’m thrilled that we have been able to resolve this issue and have found a solution that will enable people travelling from Burgess Hill to access businesses on the Cuckfield Road while these essential roundabout improvements take place.
“Northbound road access is vital to the prosperity of The Oak Barn restaurant, Burgess Hill Golf Centre and Bodle Bros. I’m grateful for the flexibility shown by Fairbridge Developments, who have worked with us to revise their plans and minimise the disruption for local businesses.”
(Picture – Google Streetview)