Dis­be­lief over ‘end­less road­works’ on A29

West Sussex County Times - - News - Sam Dixon-French

A business owner has re­acted with dis­be­lief af­ter five months of road­works be­gan on the A29 at Billing­shurst.

Billy Wil­li­son, owner of Billy’s on the Road, said the works started just three days be­fore her road­side cafe and restau­rant re­opened.

Natta Build­ing Com­pany, on be­half of Dun­moore Prop­er­ties Lim­ited, will be car­ry­ing out high­way im­prove­ment works on the A29 Stane Street as re­quired by the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion DC/18/2122 re­lat­ing to the new de­vel­op­ment.

Work started on Mon­day,

June 29 and is planned to last un­til Novem­ber 27.

Billy said: “Af­ter three months of lock­down, with not a car on the road, now you de­cide to start five months of road works in the week that lock­down ends. It is un­be­liev­able.”

Matt Sainty, com­mer­cial di­rec­tor at Natta said the road­works will be done as quickly and ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble. He added: “We recog­nise that there is never a good time for con­struc­tion works of this na­ture but they will en­able the de­vel­op­ment of the business park which will bring em­ploy­ment to the area and ben­e­fit the wider econ­omy.”

Billy said she felt ‘com­pletely de­flated and an­gry’ af­ter learn­ing of the works, es­pe­cially the road clo­sures which she fears will hit her vi­tal pass­ing trade.

Road clo­sures are planned in Novem­ber and March 2021, con­trac­tors Natta said.

Billy added: “The life blood of this road­side business is pass­ing traf­fic. Can some­one please ex­plain who is go­ing to save my business.”

Jeff Hobby at Dun­moore apol­o­gised for any tem­po­rary in­con­ve­nience caused by the works, adding: “We are con­fi­dent that when com­pleted the long­stand­ing conges­tion is­sues at New Road will be much im­proved.”

He said there had been lots of space take-up al­ready at the new business park, which would ‘pro­vide much needed em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for local peo­ple and local busi­nesses’.

A West Sus­sex County Coun­cil spokesman said the works were de­vel­oper-led, to con­struct a round­about and ac­cess road to serve the new business park, and a new foul sewer which needed two and three-way lights - hence the length of the works. He added: “Work started on 29 June and let­ters were sent to res­i­dents/business within a mile ra­dius. The con­struc­tion com­pany has said it will try to min­imise the im­pact of the works as much as pos­si­ble and keep peo­ple in­formed at the dif­fer­ent stages.”

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