'Insanity': Residents hit out at plans for wind farm HGVs to use Cowfold country lane
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Traffic was diverted along narrow country lanes in the village and, say residents, demonstrated how plans for HGVs to use the lanes during construction of a new Rampion offshore wind farm project amount to ‘insanity.’
Meera Smethurst, chairman of the protest group CowfoldvRampion, said: “There was complete pandemonium for the whole weekend.”
She said there was chaos on Picts Lane and Kent Street as drivers tried to avoid road delays and residents were unable to access their homes safely.
"These two tiny lanes had two way traffic, crazy drivers, many altercations, vehicles in ditches and coaches and lorries trying to reverse against the oncoming traffic,” she said.
Proposals to build Rampion 2 – an extension to the existing Rampion wind farm off the Sussex coast – include plans for HGVs and LGVs to use Kent Street to access a cable route.
“Residents have tried in vain to highlight the insanity of this idea," said Meera. “It is clear from this incident that the lane cannot cope with the intended level of traffic proposed by Rampion, and it’s also rather worrying that West Sussex County Council appear to have no real idea about what the lane is actually like.”
She said that during the weekend traffic chaos a horse box was overturned on Picts Lane, a van was involved in an accident “and several altercations took place. The lane was jammed and unsafe for the whole period.”
A Kent Street resident added that the incident “destroyed the Kent Street verges, made the lane itself a channel of mud, caused road rage between competing motorists trying to pass each other and became very dangerous for riders, some of whom are very young, for dog walkers, of which there are usually many, and local people simply trying to use this single track lane.”
She said she contacted county highways officials with her concerns about A-road traffic being pushed down a single track country lane and was told that temporary traffic lights were being installed.