I was returning to Storrington from Durrington one evening about two weeks ago, and when I got to the A24 it was closed in both directions just north of Worthing.
There were enraged motorists everywhere, tailbacks, traffic jams and jaded commuters desperately trying to find an alternative way of getting home. In the end it took me 90 minutes to make a journey that should have taken 30. A few days after this ‘night-time closure’ ended, I had occasion to travel down the same stretch of the A24, and there was no sign whatesoever of any work having been done – not to the surface, nor the verge, nor apparently to any other part of the highway.
This morning, I was travelling down the A24 from Horsham, and encountered a three-mile tailback occasioned by the closure of one of the southbound lanes.
Cones by the hundred and, once again, frustrated and angry motorists. And the reason? Road works at the junction of the A24 and A272.
Why was it necessary to have miles of road closure just for one intersection worth of works? Or is this ‘elf n safety’ or the Brussels bogeymen once again rearing their heads?
I understand that the County Council has to spend its budget as the end of the financial year approaches, or they face having their taxes capped.
If this is true, it is evidence of seriously bad planning. One has the almost amusing image of a council apparatchik suddenly panicking as he/she realizes that the end of the year is nigh – and screaming “spend! spend! spend!” down the blower to the roads department.
Why are these works not spread more evenly across the year? And at the end of the day, what, exactly, were they doing to the A24 those few evenings ago? Because unless it was a secret operation by MI6 or the Bomb Squad I, and I’m sure many other seething motorists, are still sadly in the dark.
Mark P Nash
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