Vital Midhurst road works will take place overnight after pressure from councillor

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Resurfacing works set to take place in North Street Midhurst next month have been scheduled to take place in the evening so that local businesses can enjoy a healthy trade during the day.

The works will take place from February 12 to 15 and were originally scheduled to take place from 8am to 6pm, according to West Sussex County Councillor Tom Richardson.

But, after pressure from residents, Councillor Richardson himself, and business owners who felt that the lack of access would curtail trade over the Valentines day period, hamstringing businesses still struggling in the wake of the Angel Inn fire – which saw North Street close for several months straight last year – the timing was changed.

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The works will now instead take place from 8pm until 6am the following day, meaning the road can stay open.

Sussex travel news. Photo: Bognor Regis.Sussex travel news. Photo: Bognor Regis.
Sussex travel news. Photo: Bognor Regis.

Speaking to the issue on Facebook, Cllr Richardson said overnight access will be maintained for residents and businesses who might be receiving deliveries.

A spokesperson for West Sussex County Council added: “These are essential works as the carriageway in North Street is showing signs of significant weakening and a new, durable surface is needed. Once the resurfacing is complete, the road will be smoother, quieter and more resilient to the formation of potholes. It will also reduce the potential for more frequent and costly disruption from localised, small repairs.

“Unfortunately, we cannot carry out work of this nature without having some impact on the local community: there will be noise but every effort will be made to carry out the noisiest operations in the earliest part of the evening and before 11pm. However, we feel that the overall inconvenience of carrying out this work at night will be less than doing so during the day."

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Responding to concerns – voiced before the scheduling change – that Highways should have performed the works while North Street was closed in the immediate aftermath of last year’s Angel Inn fire, a spokesperson added: “We had hoped to have carried out the works at the time of the full road closure which followed the fire at the Angel Inn. There was an opportunity to achieve this, once the building was stabilised, which would have meant delaying the reopening by one day. However, the feedback from businesses was that this would have been unacceptable as they did not want the reopening postponed.”