Call for ‘death trap’ Crawley chicanes to be axed

Gana D has called for the chicanes in Matthews Drive to be removed
Gana D has called for the chicanes in Matthews Drive to be removed

Chicanes designed to slow traffic have been branded a ‘death trap’.

The road layout, in Matthews Drive, Maidenbower, includes two chicanes which have long been the source of debate among drivers as to whether they hinder more than help.

Following a couple of “near misses” with cars which failed to respect the right of way at the chicanes, Gana D, of Bellamy Road, has called on West Sussex County Council to remove them for safety’s sake.

Gana, 59, who is both a cyclist and a motorist, described one of the close calls.

She said: “There’s a little bike lane that goes through the chicane. Obviously you have to obey who has the right of way. I carried on pedaling and a car came towards me.

“In order to miss me he went too far over and his front wheel hit the kerb and burst his tyre. If he hadn’t done that, he would have hit me.”

Gana said a second incident saw a driver speed up to avoid having to wait his turn at the chicane. She added: “He came ploughing through. How he managed to avoid me, I don’t know.”

While welcoming the news a similar chicane system along Station Hill and Billinton Drive was to be removed to make way for a new access point into Three Bridges station, Gana felt the county council should do the same in Matthews Drive.

She added: “I ride a bike in the summer up to Three Bridges and they are absolutely dangerous. People speed up to get through them to avoid having to stop for the traffic coming the other way.

“They are a death trap. Some one is going to die.

“If I can avoid going that way, I prefer to go the extra mile down Worth Park Avenue where at least it’s safe.”

A county council spokesman said: “We are not aware of any proposals to remove the chicanes in Matthews Drive, which is outside the remit and funding for the Three Bridges scheme.

“Removing or adjusting traffic calming features are normally considered on a case by case basis, prioritised dependant a number of factors such as traffic conditions and injury-accident rate.

“They are then subject to appropriate statutory and local consultations.”

Gana did not share the council’s opinion removal of the chicanes should be based on the number of accidents at the site but felt it should take into account the number of close calls experienced by motorists and cyclists.

She said: “There are incidents nearly every day but they are not recorded. Does someone need to be badly injured before these dangerous chicanes are removed?”