Buxted crash scene to be made safer

A272 icy black spot, near Buxted
A272 icy black spot, near Buxted

A dangerous stretch of the A272 through Buxted will soon be made safer.

The busy A-road – the direct link between East and West Sussex and main route to Gatwick Airport from the east of the county – was the scene of a spate of serious road crashes during recent icy weather.

Water ran from the north to the south side of the carriageway and froze, causing a skating rink as rush hour traffic built up.

Vehicles skidded off the road, ploughing into verges and often turning over. Uckfield firecrews had to cut open cars to release trapped and injured drivers and passengers.

Buxted Parish, Wealden District councillors and local residents lobbied County highways officers to get the road improved.

But the solution was not straightforward. Parish chairman Vivienne Blandford showed the Express a map dating from the 1800s which showed a stream rising in fields to the north and running across the route of the road. Recent heavy rain could have caused it to resurface.

Roger Williams, East Sussex County Council’s head of highways, said: “We are aware of the issue with flooding on the A272, which has resulted from water bubbling up through a BT manhole cover in the road.

“We have been working with BT to try and discover the source of the problem, and we now believe the water is coming from an underground spring.

“We will shortly be carrying out work to divert this water into our main drainage system so that it no longer ends up on the road.”