Traffic Issues

East Grinstead has long established problems with traffic congestion and inadequate road infrastructure.

The current Mid Sussex Local Plan says:  HERE

The West Sussex Structure Plan identified a Strategic Location at East Grinstead that was intended to fund a relief road.  MSDC said that this would provide net traffic relief below 2004 levels and that it could be built entirely within the county boundary.

WSCC with the East Grinstead Developer Consortium jointly commissioned Peter Brett Associates to build a Multi Modal Transport Model for the East Grinstead area to test whether or not the relief road would work.

The relief road scheme would make traffic conditions worse

A number of reports were produced that established that the relief road would not improve the traffic conditions because

  • it could not offset the additional traffic generated by the thousands of houses needed to fund the MSDC scheme
  • to gain access existing traffic would have to use residential streets such as West Hill, Hurst Farm Rd, Turners Hill Rd, Gardenwood Rd, Dunnings Rd - 80% of traffic using the A22 through East Grinstead either starts or finishes in the town - or both

MSDC error over numbers of homes tested

It also became clear that MSDC had mistakenly claimed that the modelling had tested the full quantum of houses that they were planning - 4,700.  The PRC's transport consultants, MTRU, demonstrated that this was not true and that only 2600 house had been tested.  This MSDC error was subsequently confirmed by Peter Brett Associates and WSCC officials.

 There is no possibility of an effective relief road being delivered

The relief road proposal suffered further fatal flaws when it became clear

  • that it could not be delivered wholly within West Sussex and that the neighbouring authorites would not support it extending into their areas
  • that it could not be funded by the developers
  • that the increased number of journeys across Ashdown Forest that would be generated would cause increased atmospheric pollution and so would breach the Habitats Directive

 Alternative Remedies - junction improvements

A series of further studies were undertaken by Atkins.  The third one, commissioned by East Grinstead's county councillors, quantified how much additional housing might be accommodated by improving the junctions along the A22 London Road between Moat Road (A264E) and Copthorne Road (A264W).

This concluded that around 765 additional houses (above the actual number built by April 2011) might be offset by these improvements, at a cost of roughly £5m.  WSCC offcials, as the Highways Authority have provided their opinion on these and the Town Council commissioned their own report from consultants MTRU.  By coincidence, 765 homes happen to be the number that MSDC said were already 'committed' in April 2011.

  • EGTC and WSCC have modified their approach to take account of the new information
  • MSDC have not

The District Plan pays no attention to the findings. East Grinstead Cllrs John O'Brien and Norman Webster have made it clear that the District Council Leadership does not expect EGTC to limit the allocation of housing through the Neighbourhood Plan to take account of the evidence.

Apparently MSDC will not accept an EG Neighbourhood Plan unless it includes at least a further 635 homes.

 

 


 



EG Traffic problems
 

   
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