Concern over cycle path and road junction changes

Crawley councillor Duncan Crow ENGSUS00120131202145644
Crawley councillor Duncan Crow ENGSUS00120131202145644

The poor condition of one of the town’s cycle paths and changes to a road junction were discussed at a meeting of the East Crawley County Local Committee (CLC).

During the meeting at Crawley Library on Thursday (September 11), members were asked about planned repairs to a cycle path which runs between Furnace Green and Three Bridges.

Cllr Brenda Burgess (Con, Three Bridges) told the meeting she had received a number of complaints.

She said: “A doctor at Furnace Green surgery said he was fed up of treating people who have come off their bikes on the Three Bridges to Furnace Green cycle path.

“He said he had come off himself.”

Cllr Peter Lamb (Lab, Northgate), himself a regular cyclist, said: “The Three Bridges side is particularly awful.

“It’s actually dangerous to cycle on that side.”

Cllr Duncan Crow (Con, Tilgate & Furnace Green) acknowledged repairs should have been carried out last year but had been put back to this summer.

He said: “It is in a poor condition and does need doing.

“It was inspected earlier this year with a view to deciding how much of it to do.

“If it’s going to get done this year it needs to be done in the next few weeks before the weather changes.”

A county council spokesman said nine complaints about the path had been received in the past three years – four about overgrown vegetation and five about its overall condition.

She said: “We are aware of problems with this cycle path and are now scheduling work to repair it as soon as possible.

“We anticipate that this will happen in November.

“We are looking into why delays to these repairs have occurred.

“We estimate that 180sqm of repairs are needed and this will cost in the region of £5,000.”

The meeting was also asked to approve a traffic regulation order (TRO) banning drivers from turning right into Steers Lane from Balcombe Road.

With work due to start on housing in the new Forge Wood neighbourhood, developers felt traffic lights were also needed at the junction to ensure the increase in traffic would flow smoothly.

Concerns were raised at the meeting about whether such an order was necessary and there were suggestions the proposed lights would cause tailbacks rather than keeping the traffic flowing.

It was also pointed out it would be 12 years before the majority of Forge Wood would be completed.

Reluctantly agreeing to the TRO, Cllr Crow said: “I don’t think we have a lot of choice. We are at risk of holding up the development by the sound of it if we don’t agree this.

“ I don’t think it’s a good situation that it is to be agreed so far in advance.”

Agreeing the TRO, the committee added the condition that the scheme would be reviewed in six months to judge its impact.