Major A29 road at Pulborough to be partially reopened 'shortly' after three-month closure

A major road in Pulborough which has been shut for three months is to be partially reopened to traffic ‘shortly.’
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West Sussex County Council says it will re-open one lane of the A29 at Church Hill, Pulborough, which has been shut since December 28 following a landslip.

A spokesperson said that concrete blocks would be used to create “a protected, single lane carriageway down the centre of the road. A contractor has been mobilised to start the work shortly with work taking approximately two weeks.”

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The road closure has led to traffic chaos in Pulborough, a loss of business for local traders and safety fears for residents.

The A29 at Pulborough is to be partially reopened 'shortly' after being shut for three months following a landslideThe A29 at Pulborough is to be partially reopened 'shortly' after being shut for three months following a landslide
The A29 at Pulborough is to be partially reopened 'shortly' after being shut for three months following a landslide

The council spokesperson said today that the landslide had happened “at the narrowest part of the A29, where both sides are flanked by steep embankments, causing the road to be closed for safety reasons.

"The land either side of the carriageway, which is where engineering works must take place to allow the safe reopening of the road to two-way traffic, is not adopted highway land but owned by private landowners.

“WSCC has been engaged in lengthy and detailed negotiations with the two landowners to try and reach a mutual agreement to carry out survey and other works on the land.

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"Regrettably, these negotiations have not been successful and, following careful consideration, WSCC has issued a notice pursuant to Section 151 of the Highways Act 1980 to the landowners, requiring them to remove the debris that has fallen from their property, and which is blocking the road and to carry out works required on their land to prevent a future reoccurrence of the slippage.

“The council understands the frustration of residents, businesses and those using this route during this prolonged period of closure and thanks them for their patience.

"WSCC has done all it can to try and resolve the issue by agreement and remains hopeful that a negotiated solution may yet be found with the two landowners, but in the current absence of an agreement, has found it necessary to serve a notice to facilitate the re-opening of this vital artery.

"The council has engaged and communicated with residents, businesses and Pulborough Parish Council throughout the closure.

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“It was hoped that an agreement could be reached with the landowners that would allow works to be undertaken to open the highway fully, without the use of ‘diversions’, but as this is not currently available for safety reasons, an interim solution which would retain some diversionary measures, is the preferred option.

"The one-lane solution proposed is a temporary measure, pending a permanent solution.”

County highways director Matt Davey said: “The council has offered to undertake the works on the private land to reopen the road to one lane of traffic. We have been optimistic about reaching an agreement with the landowners.

"Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach an agreement with the two landowners and are left with no choice but to utilise our statutory powers to require the landowners to do the works at their expense so that we can open the road.”

He added: “We are continuing our dialogue with the landowners in the hope that an agreement can be reached and would urge the landowners to be pragmatic in their approach to those discussions.”