Fury as Felbridge residents ‘unaware’ of major roadworks taking place in build up to Christmas

December 7, 2017
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Residents and councillors in Felbridge have criticised it as “ridiculous” that they were only made aware of major roadworks taking place in the area days before they begin – with fears businesses will suffer in the run up to Christmas.

Surrey County Council’s highways department is going to start work on the traffic lights interchange at the junction of the A264 (Copthorne Road) and A22 (London Road) on Monday (December 11).

Temporary lights will be in place at the busy junction while the traffic lights and signals are upgraded – with work due to continue until Friday (December 15).

There are concerns the work could lead to “heavy disruption and chaos” in several directions as far back as South Godstone, Dormansland, Burstow and East Grinstead.

District and parish councillors only found out the work is taking place on Monday (December 4) and say no signs or warnings have been put up at the junction or sent out to residents to warn them of the disruption.

Tandridge District councillor for the ward, Ken Harwood, said: “I didn’t know about the work until Monday (December 4), nor did Felbridge Parish Council and as an authority the council has tried to get something done to stop it as it will cause complete chaos.

“For this to happen is totally ridiculous, at this time of year especially.

“Most people will disappear from shopping in Felbridge or East Grinstead and go to Tunbridge Wells, Crawley, Redhill or anywhere else to avoid it.

“We have previously asked to be given advanced warning about roadworks because this is not the first time the highways department have brought about chaos in this area, last time I heard school children missed exams.

“We know from experience that traffic jams will stretch for miles up to Blindley Heath and shops around here are hanging on a knife edge as it is.”

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Residents have been left unaware of work at the junction (pictured) of the A22 (London Road) and the A264 (Copthorne Road)

Residents have been left unaware of work at the junction (pictured) of the A22 (London Road) and the A264 (Copthorne Road)
(Image: Google Street View)

Cllr Harwood fears congestion on the roads will hit commuters, people on the school run and those heading to Gatwick Airport.

It is feared that while congestion on the A22 (London Road) could stretch as far north as Newchapel and Blindley Heath, other areas such as Lingfield and Dormansland will be hit as people try to use them as ‘a rat run’.

The work is believed to be linked to work to upgrade the M23 to a smart motorway and it will mean that the lights at this junction can be directly controlled to help reduce congestion.

Work is set to run from 7am to 7pm across the five days according to Surrey County Council’s website.

Mrs Tracey Payet, of Copthorne Road, said: “It will be a disaster, I live near there and me and my neighbours along the road have known nothing about it.

“It will cause a huge impact on congestion and it is bad timing, why can’t they wait until the first week of January as schools don’t go back until January 8.

“It is not too bad for me as I cycle to work but my husband drives to work and takes our two kids to Sackville and Dormansland schools.

“It shows a real disrespect and disregard to local residents. Main roads through Felcourt, Dormansland and Newchapel will be used as a rat race and could also become congested.”

A spokeswoman for The Star Inn confirmed neither the pub nor several of their regulars had been informed of the work.

A spokesman for On Your Bike, London Road, also said they had not been made aware of the upcoming work and added “it will impact on some of our staff coming from Sevenoaks, but I don’t think there would be a good time of year to do the work.”

Patricia Slatter, clerk of Felbridge Parish Council, said: “We are frustrated and disappointed by the lack of information and the timing isn’t great, we asked for work to be done outside school term times and businesses’ Christmas plans may be affected.

“It would be sensible to delay the work until a quieter time of the year. As far as we are aware there is no urgency for the work to be done immediately but then Surrey County Council haven’t told us anything.

“I know West Sussex County Council have stopped road works from this week until after Christmas, why can’t Surrey do the same?

“We have done our best in the past day to spread the message to as many people as possible using social media and word of mouth and I know East Grinstead Town Council have done the same.”

A Surrey County Council spokesman confirmed temporary traffic lights will be in place during the five days.

The spokesman said: “We’re always trying to maintain and improve our roads, and look to keep disruption to a minimum while work is being carried out.

“We aim to alert residents about nearby roadworks as soon as possible. Updates on work being carried out can be found at roadworks.org.”

For more information about the roadworks, click here .

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Article source: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/fury-felbridge-residents-unaware-major-13998297


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