Highways, Transport & Planning members update - November

Highways, Transport and Planning

Welcome to our November newsletter. As we head into another set of national restrictions, Highways will be continuing to serve the community. Our winter service has begun and whilst providing services in these time may be more challenging, we are committed to do all that we can to keep our roads safe throughout this season.

Gritter Twitter

Gritting Map

Although it's still autumn, we have experienced our first frost. To keep updated with the daily gritting decision to send out WSCC Gritters, follow @WSHighways on Twitter, or use the hashtag #grittertwitter. We Tweet early afternoon afterreceiving confirmation of gritting around midday. To find out more about gritting on our network Click Here.

Click Here to watch a video on how WSCC Highways are continuing to keep roads safe this winter.

Operation Watershed Funds Continue to Support Communities

Operation watershed Logo

In 2020, even during the Pandemic, Parish & Town Councils and Community groups have been able to access Operation Watershed grant funds to help with local flooding issues impacting residents and local businesses.

This year, there have been two rounds of funding awarded to 12 successful applications, totalling £296,740.39.


Table of operation watershed projects

We are still supporting Parish & Town Councils and Community Groups and have a number of applications progressing to the next stage for a decision shortly.

You can find details of the fund Here or email operation.watershed@westsussex.gov.uk

For information on responsibilities and maintenance of ditches and open water courses Click Here.

Flood Mitigation in Burgess Hill

Burgess Hill business park after flood prevention works

Over recent years, Albert Drive in Burgess Hill has become infamous for its propensity to flood. A number of mitigation measures were implemented in January, just in the nick of time, to avoid further flooding at the beginning of the year. Though the possibility of business stock being ruined and the road becoming impassable once again remained a source of anxiety. 

Last month, WSCC Highways and Mid Sussex District Council Engineering completed further work to stay ahead of the torrential and prolonged rainfall often experienced in January and February. This involved clearance work of the watercourses, culverts and gully systems at Albert Drive.

Since then, West Sussex Highways has received thanks, specifically to Tim Boxall (a WSCC Highways Officer) for professional expertise, persistence and timely actions.

Despite some ongoing risk of flooding in Albert Drive, this mitigation work, in conjunction with the downstream works undertaken earlier in the year, should greatly reduce the likelihood of flooding along the watercourse running through the industrial estate. 

Adopt a Drain

Good drainage is becoming increasingly important to ensure West Sussex’s Highways remain safe and usable for customers.

As of 1st April 2020, reactive and cyclical drainage services will be provided by Drainline Ltd, working closely with the Maintenance Team to ensure works are planned and co-ordinated efficiently.

All gullies across the county (approximately 144,000) will be emptied, so the sump (the very bottom of the gully) is clear of silt. This will be undertaken on a cyclical basis between 6 monthly, annual and 4 yearly depending on the priority level. Once the gully is cleaned, it is then filled with water to ensure it is fully functioning.

If there are problems identified that can’t be resolved by the gang on site, the issue is reported through a system call Karbontech, and follow up works planned to re-attend.  

Drainline also undertake ad hoc work as and when required.

To help monitor drains regularly, and to minimise the risk of localised flooding, West Sussex Highways will support any local community groups or Parish & Town Councils to develop a local ‘Adopt a drain’ initiative similar to Tarring Flood Action Group.

If you notice a blocked drain by leaves and debris, check up on it before prolonged, heavy rainfall. This will mean they can either be easily cleared to prevent potential flooding. Or, for more complex matters, contact Highways before forecast rainfall so we can solve or mitigate the problem. We need you to be our eyes and ears in the community.

Yet another Green Flag for Buchan Country Park

Buchen Country Park awarded green flag

This year's Green Flag awards once again recognised Buchan Country Park’s efforts to manage the park and green spaces for the 10th consecutive year. The Green Flag award recognises Buchan as benchmark standard for management across the United Kingdom and around the world.

Buchan Country Park near Crawley covers 170 acres, is owned by WSCC and managed by WSCC Rangers with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers.

As COVID 19 caused much of the country to shut down, Buchan remained open and providing an outdoor sanctuary for an unprecedented number of visitors to enjoy the woodlands, meadows, heathland and ponds, many discovering the park for the first time. Families with young children unable to attend school, joggers, walkers and those just looking to escape to a quiet green space.

Senior ranger, Simon Rowledge offers particular thanks to volunteer, Steve Hines, who's clocked up over 200 volunteer hours over the year and his management team that supported him throughout.

Buchan will continue to provide not just a home for wildlife but a safe and accessible place for all to come and enjoy it 365 days of the year.

A29 Realignment Scheme

A29 Realignment Scheme

Between February and April 2019, WSCC carried out a pre-application consultation in relation to the A29 Realignment Scheme plans. Public feedback from the consultation has been valuable in shaping our final scheme design, and we can now confirm that a planning application has been submitted to WSCC for Phase 1 of the scheme (from the A29 south of Eastergate Lane to a new junction with Barnham Road).

Click Here to see the planning application documents. The application reference number is WSCC/052/20

Highway condition surveys

West Sussex Highways has awarded a new contract for highway surveys to Pavement Testing Services (PTS) who operate out of Chichester. Initially this is on a 2 year contract with the option to extend for a further year. Surveys include inventory, footway and carriageway condition, machine condition surveys (SCANNER) and skid resistance surveys.

PTS have been a past provider of the majority of these surveys before and have consistently maintained a very high level of data quality collection and delivery in all of their surveys. The Scanner Survey is one contract that PTS have not won before, but they are now equipped with their new exciting Multi Functional Vehicle (MFV) which is a state-of-the-art highway condition testing machine offering greater benefits than just the standard scanner vehicle. 

Flood Action Campaign 2020/21

Flood Warning Icon

The Environment Agency has launched their annual flood action campaign, which provides residents with guidance on what to do in a flood. This year the campaign is specifically targeting people who live in areas at high risk of flooding but have not yet experienced flooding in their home.

It is likely that Covid-19 restrictions will exacerbate the challenge of recovery from flooding this winter, so Flood Action Week will be running from 9th to 15th November, using social media content to remind people of the actions they need to take. To find out more about what to do in a flood Click Here. 

Traffic Signals Update

Traffic lights installed in Worthing

Refurbished and upgraded Traffic Signal junctions in Worthing

After nearly three months, refurbished traffic junctions at Poulters Lane and Offington Lane went live on Friday 6th November following collaborative upgrading works.

This is the second project of its kind in Worthing this year (the other being the junction of Teville Road and Oxford Road), and was completed alongside road resurfacing and lining layout improvements. This minimised possible inconvenience caused to customers by roadworks.

Both junction’s signals were often slow in responding to the constantly changing traffic flows during the day. To solve this, the entire junction was refurbished using the latest Puffin style crossing and detectors. These ensure traffic is held if a pedestrian is  crossing, yet can cancel a demand if a pedestrian changes their mind, leaving the traffic to flow as normal.

The new upgrades also use MOVA8 software, allowing for constant monitoring of traffic flows and signal timing optimisation, significantly reducing queuing, congestion and air pollution. Also, LED signals, an energy efficient longer lasting alternative to previous signals, have been used to reduce maintenance costs.

The Poulters Lane junction island on the southern arm (Rectory Road) has also been widened to enable easier wheelchair and buggy access between the crossing points.

Traffic light installation Burgess Hill

New Pedestrian Crossing, Keymer Road Burgess Hill

The new pedestrian crossing, installed on Keymer Road between Oak Hall Park and Hoadley’s Corner Roundabout, provides a new safe crossing point. This  improvement request was put forward by a local school to encourage pupils to walk to school more. 

This crossing uses the latest LED technology, benefiting from low energy consumption, reduced maintenance and offers improved visibility for drivers. 

To ensure the crossing benefited from anti-skid performance, the road was resurfaced and worn out lining was refreshed, including the School Keep Clear zone.

The site was constructed during the summer holidays to minimise disruption and has been positively received by the public as well as nearby school.