Changes around East Street could be ‘licence for accident’

A permanent traffic-free East Street was confirmed on Monday but safety concerns remain over where to re-locate two disabled bays.

JPCT 250913 S13390090x East Street, Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 250913 S13390090x East Street, Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb

The experimental Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) was introduced in April 2012 pedestrianising the Horsham town centre road from 10.30am-4.30pm, and this week West Sussex County Council’s North Horsham County Local Committee agreed to make the order permanent.

This follows an independent public inquiry held in June after objections to the TRO from businesses who could not schedule deliveries during the day, while disabled drivers were angry that they could not access the two disabled parking bays outside Ask restaurant in the Carfax because of the one-way system.

The inspector recommended that the TRO be made permanent on the proviso that the bays were accessible at all times.

While officers suggested on Monday night that the small leg of the Carfax could be made two-way so drivers could access the bays at all times, some members raised safety concerns.

David Sheldon (LDem, Horsham Tanbridge and Broadbridge Heath) said: “I think from a safety perspective I think it’s better to relocate them.”

Morwen Millson (LDem, Horsham Riverside) said they were in discussion about possible parking in Talbot Road’s square and thought this would be a better option than re-locating the bays to behind the old town hall.

Addressing councillors Trudie Mitchell, chairman of Denne Neighbourhood Council, said: “We have written to West Sussex County Council saying we strongly oppose allowing vehicles in against the one-way traffic.

“It’s a licence for an accident.”

Jim Rae (Con, Roffey) said it might be possible to move the bays further along the Carfax as well as providing an extra two disabled parking spaces behind the old town hall.

Changes to East Street, backed by both WSCC and Horsham District Council, have sought to promote a ‘cafe culture’ in the area of the town, including Market Square.

Members agreed to make the TRO for East Street permanent, but decided to investigate long-term solutions in relation to the parking bays.

Meanwhile the committee also resolved to formally consult on waiting restrictions in Holbrook, with informal consultation taking place in July and August.

Of the 719 letters sent out to residents 195 replies were received, with 141 in support of proposals, 48 objected and six felt neither way.

Peter Catchpole (Con, Holbrook) said: “Residents are happy to live near a station that gets them fast to work but it’s some times a misery for them with the parking.

“It’s as good as it can get for the time being.”

While Mr Rae said that some displacement might occur, the primary driver behind changes was increased safety for drivers and pedestrians.

Roads affected include parts of Rusper Road and Lambs Farm Road, Tylden Way, Brook Road, Rook Way, Jackdaw Lane, and Gateford Drive.

The committee also approved waiting restrictions for Broadbridge Heath on a number of junctions in Billingshurst Road. According to the officers’ report proposals were developed to prevent visibility being inhibited at junction areas.