Consultants have identified a Pegasus crossing – a signalised crossing designed for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders – as a potential option for improving road safety for all at the A281 Downs Link in Rudgwick.
Since a fatal accident at the crossing point in 2020, West Sussex County Council has completed a series of improvements to install new signs warning motorists of the crossing point, installing wooden guard barriers on access ramps and clearing vegetation to improve visibility.
Joy Dennis, County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said, “Road safety is a top priority for the council and we believe these measures significantly reduce the risk of a similar accident happening again. But we want to go much further than what’s already been put in place.
“We commissioned a consultant’s report to consider what other measures could be taken, which we have been discussing with the charity, SUSTRANS.”
Three options were considered: a bridge, a Pegasus crossing, or a traffic island – the island has been ruled out because there is insufficient land to accommodate one at the site.
Ms Dennis added, “The initial estimated cost for a bridge is approximately £2million. It is difficult to make a case for a bridge when that same level of funding could pay for other, multiple improvement schemes around the county and when a Pegasus crossing would provide similar benefits for local communities and everyone using the Downs Link.
“Given the traffic island is not feasible, our approach will be to continue investigations into the Pegasus crossing, which has an initial, estimated cost of approximately £600,000.”
The crossing would comprise an on-road signalised crossing, with adjustment to the Downs Link access ramps. The work would allow for much-enhanced safety when crossing the road and would look for options to improve accessibility to the Downs Link for everyone, including pedestrians, people who cycle, wheelchair users and equestrians.
Over the coming months, the County Council will continue to work in partnership with SUSTRANS and will carry out feasibility studies, such as topographic and ecology surveys, to define the full scope of works required.
This will lead to a refinement of the design and cost estimates and allow both the County Council and SUSTRANS to determine next steps.
(Picture – West Sussex County Council)