By Nik Butler
You have witnessed the crane, you have experienced the nighttime detours, and you have observed the new bridge built across the A24.
With the continually growing westward expansion of Horsham the malign tumour of development is squeezing its way through the westward gap between Horsham, Christ’s Hospital and Southwater, and with it the various paths and routes between those spaces.
Interestingly one able hobbyist equipped with a remotely operated drone and video camera has captured the images of this development and we begin to get the feel for the future of Horsham’s growth.
Hint: it wont involve pedestrians, bikes, or anything that does not run on four wheels. Two roundabouts, one bridge, and a clear divide between Horsham west and the Wickhurst lane developments and none of it suggests room for the able bodied or cycling enthused.
With one bridge over the carriage way it begs the question how will the traffic flow in the event that it is closed off due to an incident?
Indeed as I look to more of the entrances and exits to our town and district it becomes obvious that those capable of making decisions and drawing up plans make no allowance for anything other than the automobile.
Searching inwards I see no signs of any improvement to those policies. Looking over the Bishopric development and the subsequent carriage way alterations around the west end I find fewer routes and options to progress which do not put me at the mercy of cars or trucks.
Pedestrians must wait, cyclists must stop cycling, everything must make way for the carriageways and cars and trucks and buses and through it all nothing exists that makes you want to walk into town, to walk around the neighborhoods, or to cycle across the town and into the countryside.
Not that I hold much hope in consultation regarding Bishopric’s development resulting in a feeling that any opinions were heard. If the yellow brick road is any indication then all we are left with is a nod to the audience and then deliveries made according to extenuating circumstances.
That Horsham is growing and changing is not the cause of my concerns but that we are ignoring those value in the rural and countryside communities. That a pleasant walk, a comfortable bike ride, and a community feeling, are only successful if those villages are connected by more than privilege of car ownership.