Potholes – 83 years before the average road is resurfaced!

Potholes are a daily annoyance to us, however until a pothole is at least 4cm deep or 10 cm wide it is not considered of sufficient priority for a repair to take place – you can report them here.  The reason we have so many potholes and why the situation is getting worse is the lack of ongoing road maintenance, government funding to councils in England for road maintenance in 2021/22 was cut by £390 million on the previous year.  

As West Sussex County Council’s Director of Highways acknowledged in 2020, there had been ‘a significant reduction’ in the Conservative Council’s highways budget over the last ten years.  The £17 million earmarked for road investment by West Sussex County Council in 21/22 is a fraction of the funding required when the average frequency of road resurfacing is every 83 years, which means the situation will only get worse with irregular repairs increasing the likelihood of potholes developing. 

The real culprit is Conservative cuts nationally to local government funding, Liberal Democrats say stop spending on grandiose new road schemes and instead spend the money on road maintenance.  Even the Conservative candidate in the current Dunstall Ward by-election is appealing for more funding, the question is will our local MP Mims Davies and her government listen?

Call for new Leylands Road/Mill Road junction crossing

Parents at Sheddingdean Primary School have started a petition for a pedestrian crossing at the junction between Mill Road and Leylands Road. Crossing at peak times is a nightmare and speeding cars can also be an issue when traffic is lighter. This has been made worse with the advent of the Lidl store as well as increased traffic from housing development. The junction is a key crossing point for those visiting the new store, as well as school children and those walking to town, and can also be a nightmare for cars trying to exit from Mill Road or Freeks Lane at busy periods, so a traffic light controlled crossing would also benefit road users.

Cllr Stuart Condie, our local County Councillor is taking this forward with the County Council and the petition provides a valuable indicator of the strength of local opinion in support of the proposal. Sign the petition here.

SID is back!

The Town Council’s Speed Indicator Display (SID) is back in action after getting new batteries. Complaints about speeding traffic on Sussex Way were raised with me at the Town Council’s Councillor Surgery, and it has now been temporarily installed to monitor traffic speeds on Sussex Way and deter speeding. This is a problem for pedestrians trying to cross Sussex Way between Howard Avenue and Saxby Road and I have asked Liberal Democrat County Councillor Stuart Condie to look into improved road safety measures. The SID is available for use across Burgess Hill – contact the Town Council if you have any suggestions on where to place it in future.

SID is currently in Sussex Way

Freeks Lane tidy up

Its good to see resident efforts to tidy up Freeks Lane, Liberal Democrat candidate Stuart Condie and myself took some time off from County Council election campaigning to clear up some plastic netting which was apparently left by contractors several years ago and become intertwined with vegetation, so we put some time into removing it this morning. Where possible we would prefer to hold the relevant authority to account but given the time that has passed this is not always possible.

Update on road works

I have been asked how long the roadworks in Leylands Road near St Peters Road will continue, and can confirm they will complete by the 16th April, a colleague who contacted them has confirmed they have completed the main works and will make good the road surface next week. I’ve also been asked about the blockage on the upgraded footpath parallel to Blackstone Way, and understand completion was delayed by legal issues which have now been resolved and therefore the work should be completed soon, just waiting for a specific deadline.

Branch Action!

We are all spending more time walking locally, often on pavements when the weather is bad, that often highlights overhanging branches or other obstructions that can make navigating our pavements more difficult. We can all be good neighbours in taking responsibility for the area around our house even if it is just ensuring it is free from any discarded rubbish. I took action to lop off these overhanging branches on Maple Drive to make this pavement safer for taller users (after asking permission from the relevant householder).