Road works update… 

Updated 4th January…

Just before Christmas there was a landslip (following prolonged and torrential rainfall) on Network Rail’s site by Wivelsfield Station. This resulted in Network Rail getting permission from WSCC to close Leylands Road near the station to progress repairs.

This road closure, coupled with several other planned works in Burgess Hill, notably work by UK Power Networks on Keymer Road near to the Burgess Hill Girls School, had a major impact on traffic and levels of congestion around the town over the festive season.

The UK Power Networks work in Keymer Road was completed on Friday 3rd January as scheduled, and that road was fully re-opened with the contraflow traffic lights removed.

However, the Network Rail works have turned out to be very substantial. The latest expectation is that Leylands Road will remain fully closed until 5th January so as to allow large quantities of aggregate to be delivered to shore up the site. As of Monday 6th January at 7am, Leylands Road is due to be partially re-opened with two-way lights controlling a contraflow of traffic. The expectation is that this arrangement will stay in effect until 29th January, although I cannot comment on whether the 29th is realistic, overly conservative or too optimistic as an end date as yet.

While the removal of the Keymer road roadworks and partial re-opening of Leylands Road are positive developments ahead of Monday 6th January’s return to work and resumption of school, the bad news is that additional work is due to start near the Household Waste / Recycling site for several weeks (6th to 29th January).

There is a useful web site which provides a central map for tracking traffic disruptions – One.Network You can immediately see today’s and the planned roadworks for the next 2 weeks. You can also see further into the future but need to sign up for a free user account.

I have now scanned the next 3 months and there seems to be a very significant amount of road closures and disruption in the pipeline for our local roads, such that I will provide another update later in January once I’ve fully understood what those plans are.

It does seem that all reasonable efforts have been taken by WSCC and the utility companies to schedule their work over the festive break, and that they have followed the correct procedures. Plus of course the closure of Leylands Road has been due to a genuine emergency.

That said, I am sure the town is getting wearied from the seemingly constant disruptions. Therefore, I will endeavour to follow up with WSCC Highways to push for better communication and fuller explanations.

In the meantime, and until the impact of a partially open Leylands Road and the new works by the Household Waste / Recycling site are understood / adequately resolved, BHBPA business leaders might want to ask some of their staff to stagger their hours – either starting earlier (pre-rush hour) or later – or indeed working from home if that’s practical for business purposes.

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