Residents campaign for increased safety on the A24

By Charlotte Schroeter

Following a string of accidents on the A24 between Horsham and Capel, including two on the morning of Friday, October 10 at Kingsfold, resident Andrew Moore got a friend to film him driving along the road to show the bends and the lack of signage he believes there is.

There have been a few fatalities along the stretch of A24 between Horsham and Capel, some serious incidents and plenty of smaller ones. With daylight hours decreasing, wetter autumnal days, and icy roads soon upon us, could the situation get worse?

The debate of dangerous roads vs dangerous drivers continues with some residents giving their view on Facebook. Kellie Harper Oldfield said: “This road just needs to have a lower speed limit, not 50, plus speed cameras”. Lee Renphrey said: “Maybe part of the problem is also the road surface”. Others suggested using average speed checks, road widening, installing crash barriers, straightening the road, or turn the road into a dual carriageway.

The A24 has caused many discussions over the years and local group the A24 Alliance says it represents the interests of local residents within the A24 area. It is ‘the campaign by local people to tame the A24 and improve safety’ and is against the A24 being transformed into a superhighway for regional, through traffic connecting the A27 to the M25. It wants a safe local route and a route that protects the environment.

In a press released on its website, dated December 22 2011, the A24 Alliance welcomed the scrapping of West Sussex County Council’s A24 road scheme to cancel and withdraw its plans to change the road into part of the A24 ‘super highway’. The press release also says: “For many years, the A24 Alliance has argued that small-scale low cost roadwork’s are all that is needed to make this road safe.”

John Hughes, a joint founder of the A24 Alliance, told The District Post: “Diesel spillages on the A24 have been a big concern for me for some time. I live just off the A24 and my neighbour skidded in a diesel spillage some years ago.

“I think as well as the diesel, the problems along the A24 are speed, tailgating and general bad manners on the roads. I drove over 100,000 miles a year in my job so I saw it all. But people have time pressures and traffic is increasing. People want a new road but I can’t see them getting one as it is too expensive and people will complain about the land used.

“I think there should be a cut down in diesel spills, people should behave on the roads and abide by speed limits, drive according to the road conditions, and don’t tailgate.”

The Horsham area was one of the worse in the South East for death on roads. A BBC news report on December 2 2011 said from 1999 to 2010 116 people died on the roads in Horsham local authority. This statistic came from official data recorded by police.

When The District Post contacted West Sussex County Council to discuss the road, a spokesman for the council said: “We are investigating the spate of collisions along this stretch of road with Sussex Police, and will be meeting with our colleagues across the border in Surrey to discuss safety issues further.

“We had planned to put some additional road signs and road markings in at this location, but this is not scheduled until after Christmas.”

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