Fury at ‘absolute chaos’ caused by major road closure near Horsham

A Horsham District man is calling for work to be sped up on a ‘nightmare’ road closure.

Bernard Wiggins, 67, urged the council to make repairs to the A24 northbound at Southwater a priority because the road is a ‘main artery’ in the area.

The road was shut due to subsidence on Saturday, and is expected to be closed until Friday. The closure is in place between the Southwater and Hop Oast roundabouts northbound.

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The retired West Grinstead resident said: “The poor people in Southwater must be very upset because they will have great difficulty getting in and out of Southwater to their homes.

Subsidence at the underpass at Southwater on the A24 causes closure of the north bound carriageway. Pic Steve Robards SR2008241 SUS-200824-145729001

“They should divert man power from other jobs to ensure that the main artery is repaired as soon as possible.”

Bernard raised concerns that increased slow moving traffic in Southwater ‘isn’t exactly eco friendly’ and urged the county council to divert traffic along the A272 and via the A29 or A23 to relieve pressure on the village.

But he said that he had seen ‘no vehicles in the area doing any work and no workmen’.

Several people have vented their frustration at the extra traffic causing gridlock in the village.

Vicki McIntyre said on the County Times Facebook page: “It is causing big traffic problems in Southwater. My house backs onto the Worthing Road at the pinch point near the schools.

“The number of screeching tyres and horns we have heard in the last few days as people try to get through the village is ridiculous.

“People are becoming increasingly impatient at the excess traffic this is causing in the village.”

Ruth Tyerman added: “Southwater is a nightmare with the extra cars. But let’s be grateful it’s not in a few weeks when the schools are back.”

Sue Ridgley said: “The road was closed on Saturday no work done all over the weekend and all the traffic diverted through Southwater onto a single carriageway road with pinch points.

“The queue is the entire length of the village and causing absolute chaos. If the road needs repairs why aren’t any being done?”

Kris Massie added that the village has now become a ‘rat run’.

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “The A24 is currently closed northbound near Southwater for safety reasons, with some subsidence on the carriageway. The police requested the closure as an emergency over the weekend and safety is always our priority.

“We need to repair approximately 300sqm of the northbound carriageway, to remove the subsidence and the worst affected areas in the immediate vicinity.”

The council apologised for any inconvenience caused by the diversion but assured people it will get the work done as soon as possible.

The spokesman added: “We prioritised the repair, switching resources from other jobs, but work of this nature is always subject to the weather and today’s (Tuesday’s) severe conditions, with gale-force winds forecast, prevented progress.

“We do not believe providing an alternative route would help: we have put in the most practical diversion.”