Tilgate Park access road given the green light

Tilgate Park entrance in Tilgate
Tilgate Park entrance in Tilgate

A new access road linking Tilgate Park to the A23 was approved by councillors last night (Wednesday February 12).

Crawley Borough Council will invest £1m in the park with:

- A new 5.5m wide access road with two narrower ‘pinch points’ to give traffic travelling in one direction priority

- Improved coach parking and turning facilities

- A reduction in the number of visitors travelling through Tilgate

- An extra 30 parking spaces in the main car park plus the installation of a pay and display system

- New disabled parking areas

- Resurfacing and relining the main car park

- Environmental improvements to the car park pedestrian / toilet area.

Smith & Western and Go Ape, who both moved in to Tilgate Park in the last two years, have both contributed to the project.

The council says the investment will be better for visitors and reduce traffic in Titmus Drive by making the A23/K2 Crawley junction the primary route for vehicles to and from the park.

This will relieve traffic congestion and parking in the park and in Tilgate, it says.

All formal public parking areas will be pay and display car parks. Charging hours in the main car park will be 9am-4pm in winter and 9am-6pm in summer at a flat fee of £1 per hour up to a maximum of £5.

Charging in the fisherman’s car park will apply from 11am-4pm in winter and 11am-6pm in summer at the same rates. The start time for charging is an hour later than originally suggested to allow dog walkers and other local leisure users to benefit from free parking before 11am in the fisherman’s car park.

Pay and display machines will be installed in the main car park and operating in April. A planning application for the access road is expected in the spring. A tender period will follow before preliminary work begins in September. Road construction will take place between September this year and April 2015, to avoid the park’s busiest summer period.

Cllr Duncan Crow, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “This access road, along with all the other improvements we’re making, will enhance visitors’ experience and reduce traffic problems in and around Tilgate.

“The revised charging times in the fisherman’s car park allow early morning leisure users to park for free until 11am seven days week.

“I’d also like to thank Smith & Western and Go Ape for agreeing to make contributions to this project.”