Council say new Burgess Hill junction WILL perform despite furious backlash over introduction
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Residents in a Mid Sussex town say millions of pounds of taxpayers money have been wasted on a road scheme that has made traffic worse instead of better.
The £4.7million project, which is due to be finished in April, is aimed at encouraging more cycling and walking in and around Burgess Hill.
A mini roundabout has been removed and traffic lights have been put in its place. While work is being carried out, businesses say they've lost money and journey times have gone from a few minutes to half an hour.
Jon Clayson, Hunters Estate Agents says,
"People are absolutely furious. Burgess Hill is a small town, people know each other, and the conversation continually is pure frustration; complete and utter disbelief.
"A lot of people who do come to town don’t cycle. Cyclists are a rarity!
"I get they’re trying to encourage that and I understand that but putting cyclists and pedestrians on the same little bit of pavement is a recipe for disaster.
"It feels like a rushed job, slapped on without forethought."
Temporary traffic lights have also been installed further up the main road while the next phase of the work continues, but many say the new scheme has created more traffic problems than it solves.
Nick Burrell, Strategic Programme Manager at West Sussex County Council, says:
"At peak times we will see some delays. We are trying to do all we can to mitigate those. When the temporary traffic lights go, our data shows us that hopefully this junction will perform as well as the mini-roundabout did in the past and potentially better at peak times."
The council says it’s been monitoring driver behaviour and has introduced signage and road markings to improve safety.
“We are currently on track to have these works completed in the first half of this year, with the next area being between Queens Crescent and the Civic Way Roundabout.
"These works will require the use of temporary traffic signals for the safety of the workforce and the travelling public.”