Billingshurst Community Partnership

Company No 5573204

A company limited by guarantee

Registered in England and Wales

Registered Office: 1st Floor, Atlantic House, Jengers Mead, Billingshurst, RH14 9PB


CONTACT US HERE


Archives

Horsham Piazza Partnership Works
The Horsham Piazza Italia District Tour - Sunday 13th March 2016

Congratulations you made this happen!
Well, after much planning, and more than a few trials and tribulations, it all came together on the day!
A massive thank you and respect to you, your organisations and all of your local teams for collaborating with us here at HDC Economic Development to execute our original concept of a tour of Horsham District’s market towns by a group of star cars & bikes from the Horsham Piazza Italia Rallies.


Although inevitably the cars, and bikes, become the stars - the aim of this was always to put the focus on our market towns and the Tour has proved to be an ideal way of publicising the Horsham District connection we share. Given the increasing public turn out in each location as the day went on, we hope that you share our own view that this has given us all something to build on, working together to the greater benefit of our local communities and the District as a whole.


The business and community interest and participation that you worked so hard to foster in each town gave each location a special atmosphere and was appreciated by all of the Tour Drivers and riders, many of which have already given us hugely positive feedback on the quality of the arrangements throughout. As we went around, each location had a different feel and ‘vibe’ allowing for a great variety as an event overall.


We are writing separately to all of the Tour drivers and riders that so generously gave up their Sunday to join us all at their own cost, and trust you will join us in thanking them.


We will arrange a wash up post Easter to record all of the things that went well and not so well to be fed into any future event plan but please make your notes while they are fresh and we will share these amongst us in due course.


Photos & Video
In the meantime enjoy the images from the day as captured by our official photographer. Please go to www.tobyphillipsphotography.co.uk  click on the Client Login on the side menu, there you will find the District Tour folio where you can view the overview page and go to the relevant content giving you a perspective across the whole of the day’s events. You can share on Social Media or request specific images. We are releasing selected images to the media to reflect the event across all locations.

 

Memorandum of understanding


Standing, left to right, David Hurst, Pulborough Community Partnership (CP); Les Ampstead, Pulborough CP; Ken Johnson, Billingshurst CP; Andy Castles, Storrington & Sullington CP; Denise Campbell, Billingshurst CP; Tony Jackson, Henfield CP; Patrick Perks Billingshurst CP;

Seated, left to right; Mary Crosbie, Horsham Town CP; Jane Apostolou, Horsham Town CP; Kate Rowbottom, Horsham District Council, Cabinet Member for Communities; Reina Alston, Steyning CP

The community partnerships in the rural towns of Horsham District have signed a memorandum of understanding with West Sussex County Council and Horsham District Council. The final signatures were added at a meeting at Pulborough last Wednesday, 2nd September. The two-page memorandum was the result of negotiations with the two councils over many months.

“It places the relationship between the community partnerships and the two councils on an official level where everyone understands what is expected of the others” said Ken Johnson of Billingshurst CP who had led the negotiations.

“The community partnerships can help the council officers understand more about the communities they are trying to help,” said Les Ampstead from Pulborough. “Both they and the parish councils have a deep knowledge of the places they live in and that knowledge can save hard-pressed councils much time and money. Instead of employing a consultant, just come and ask the people on the ground.”

 

A copy of our Memorandum of Understanding between the Partnership and Billingshurst Parish Council Can be found here >>

Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for West Sussex, Mrs Susan Pyper, was in Billingshurst recently to invest Patrick Perks with the BEM announced in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June.

Patrick Perks

Mrs Pyper explained that the British Empire Medal had been resurrected as a recognition of 'Services to a Community', therefore it was fitting that such investitures should take place where members of the community could share the ceremony.

Patrick had welcomed the invitation from Peter Woodman, the Head Teacher of the Weald School, to hold the ceremony within the Community School where, as a Governor for many years, and his wife June had taught for over thirty years, he felt very much at home.

Patrick and June hosted a party in the Library for those who had worked alongside them on various projects, and friends and family. Their daughter Elizabeth, who had attended the Weald School, had come from Austria with her children Maxamillion and Charlotte-Rose to join the celebrations. Two past Head Teachers, Geoffrey Lawes and Peter May, were also there with their wives.

The Deputy-Lieutenant, Mr John Barclay, read the long Citation from the Honours and Appointments Secretariat, to those gathered. It read:-

"He is a tireless voluntary worker on behalf of the community giving his knowledge and expertise generously to enrich the local environment and encourage residents with his enthusiasm to respect, improve and value the area in which they live and is the inspiration behind many projects. Over the years he has been involved in organisations such as the Plaistow & Ifold Scout Group Association and Chairman of the Plaistow Playgroup. From 1999 to 2003 he was a Parish Councillor, then Chairman of Billingshurst Parish Council. In 2002 he helped develop a Community Action Plan; he then went on to form the Billingshurst Community Partnership in 2004 with the remit to implement the plan. He chaired the council's Jubilee Fields Sub-Committee from its inception; he personally secured a great deal of the funding and encouraged much self help and voluntary work. As a result of his leadership and involvement the group have been successful in regenerating an ancient woodland, created a fishing lake, started a lunch club for the elderly, organised youth drop-in and dance nights and co-ordinated Arts Council events for the village. The partnership was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2011. He has been a school governor of the Weald School since 1999 and Vice Chair of Governors since 2007 and is known for his proactive approach., A member of the local Rotary Club since 1999, he has been President and has assisted with a range of community projects. In 2005 he founded BAIT (Billingshurst Action Initiative Team) which liaises with the police on antisocial behaviour. From 2009 to date he has been a founding member of the organising committee to build a Youth Centre known as the EYE (Education Youth Enterprise) Project. In 2011 he spearheaded negotiations with the local MP regarding parking and clamping in the privately run car park within Billingshurst and was successful in getting clamping removed and obtaining free parking for all during the Christmas Market and Chamber of Commerce sponsored event known as 'Billibiz'. Since 2012, he has been a member of Ascension Trust, a group organising Street Pastors and liaising with police and pastoral volunteers".

Patrick Perks

Patrick says:- "It was an honour and a privilege to receive the BEM for services to the Community from the Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Pyper, on behalf of Her Majesty. No man is an island and I could not have achieved any of the projects undertaken without the support, encouragement and dedication from all my colleagues and friends gathered together at the investiture evening. My special thanks to Peter Woodman for the use of the Weald Library and the catering staff, and a special thanks to those young people who kept us entertained and well looked after. Finally my wife June for all her dedication and those many hours of free PA over the years. Thank you all".

 

Billingshurst Creatives

Billingshurst Creatives is now open, 10am - 4:30pm Tuesday to Saturday at 2 Jengers Mead!

Please note we have half day closing on Wednesdays after 1pm and closed all day Monday.

This fantastic new co-operative shop for local artists and makers still has some spaces available to rent - to find out more and request an application form, please email billingshurstcreatives@gmail.com

General News

Billingshurst Street Pastors (BSP's) receives funding boost


The Street Pastors has just received a grant of £1000 from the Police & Crime Commissioner's Safer in Sussex Community Fund.

Patrick Perks BEM, joined the Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne and representatives from over 60 other local organisations who had been awarded funding at a special 'Celebration Showcase' event held in Lewes on Thursday 19 June

Commenting on the funding award Patrick said "We are delighted to have been awarded this grant from the Police & Crime Commissioner's Community Fund, which will help us train and equip more volunteers to join the team"

Commending BSP's on its successful bid Mrs Bourne said "The Street Pastors organisation is a great example of an innovative local project that aims to make our communities safer. I look forward to visiting the team at Billingshurst and follow the progress of the project over the coming months"

Over the years we have undertaken some interesting projects of which we are rightfully proud.

These are listed below and form part of the archive of this web site

 

Jubilee Fields Award


The above information is also available as a pdf which can be viewed by clicking on either of the
images above

The Original Community Survey

Civilising Cities: Preliminary Findings from Billingshurst

1 Overview
The Billingshurst project was included to identify the quality of life changes resulting from a package of predominantly road-based measures, which have significantly reduced traffic in the centre of this large village. A bypass was opened in September 1999 and a programme of traffic calming measures and village centre streetscape enhancements is being implemented between April and September 2002. Under the research, a retrospective quality of life evaluation of the bypass is being conducted and a ‘before and after’ study is being carried out around the introduction of the traffic calming proposals. (It was not possible to select an example of a bypass construction around which a standard ‘before’ and ‘after’ study could be conducted, because there were no appropriate schemes due for completion within the timeframe of the Civilising Cities research.)

The transport changes are linked to a significant house-building programme, in which 550 new houses are being built in the west of the Village. Through selling land to property developers for these new houses, the local District Council of Horsham was able to fund the entire transport package along with a range of community facility improvements to, in part, meet the needs of the increased population.

After the opening of the bypass, traffic travelling North/South through the village (in the same direction as the bypass) reduced by approximately 40% to around 10,000 vehicles per 24-hour period. However, traffic travelling along the A272 East/West route increased by just over 10% to 6200 vehicles per day, although has since started to decline. The traffic calming measures should address some of the persistent problems of through traffic that the bypass did not completely solve and they should help to control the growing internal traffic from residential households. They should also helping to maintain the attractiveness of the High Street area to residents and visitors.

Long-term residents in the village are worried about the adverse affects of the increased number of households, which they see as changing the nature of the village. It has been recognised that transport measures are one of the key sets of interventions to help it maintain its character.

2 Description of local study areas
Figure 1 shows the route of the 2.46km single carriageway bypass and the position of the village within Horsham District. As can be seen, the village has also been divided into local study areas, based on proximity to the traffic changes. They are called: Near bypass, Near High Street, Peripheral roads, New housing and Elsewhere (which is not expected to experience significant changes during the course of the research).

The Village has a residential population of approximately 5000 people (estimated for the year 2000) compared to a Billingshurst Ward population estimate of 6600 people. There were approximately 2200 households in Billingshust Village in 2002. The ward itself is in the top 15% of least deprived wards in England, based in the Index of Deprivation. This is reflected in below average unemployment, and high house and car ownership — 84% of households in Billingshurst Ward own a car compared to the national average of 68% (1991 Census).

3 Programme of improvements
Under the traffic calming project, five traffic calming gateways were constructed at the main entrances to the village under Phase 1 of the project in Autumn 2000. The most significant traffic calming measures, though, will be implemented in Phase 2, which commenced in Spring 2002 and will take 6 months to complete. Phase 2 involves making the High Street more pedestrian friendly and changing the priority of traffic using the A272. At present, traffic using the A272 gives way to traffic using the High Street. This will be changed so that traffic on the A272 will have priority and High Street traffic will give way. This will add an extra delay to traffic travelling through the village North to South. In addition, crossing facilities will be improved to develop a village walkway.

Amongst community facilities, new playing fields are to be built on the Western (non-village) side of the bypass (in 2002). A swimming pool is to be built (likely to be 2003). A £100,000 extension to the Village Hall is to be built by Spring 2002. A village bus service is planned for 2003, which will travel around Billingshurst in a circular route.

4 Data collection and analytical approach
In addition to using existing data sources, an extensive household survey has been conducted in Billingshurst Village, which achieved a sample of over 50% of households. In order to obtain more information on impacts on local economic conditions and the quality of the High Street, from the perspective of both businesses and visitors, supplementary business and on-street surveys have also been conducted.

The sample sizes for all surveys are shown in Table 1, alongside the number of respondents that were able to comment on conditions before and after the construction of the bypass. Table 2 provides a geographical breakdown of the household sample by study areas (which are described in Chapter 2). Survey work was carried out in March 2002, prior to the implementation of the main traffic calming and High Street enhancement measures. The surveys will be repeated in 2003, after the traffic calming and village centre enhancements have been implemented. Meanwhile, extra traffic and environmental monitoring is being undertaken for the Civilising Cities initiative by West Sussex County Council.

In order to demonstrate the possible contribution of transport measures to quality of life in Billingshurst, a series of illustrations have been used, which compare indicators by geographical area. Some of these illustrations are simple charts that show a net percentage value (e.g. % percent satisfied minus % dissatisfied) by geographical area; others are simple graphs which show a how a single value changes over time (e.g. traffic flows) by area.

However, it has often been necessary to use a more complex type of chart, when interpreting findings from the retrospective bypass survey. By geographical area, this chart type compares:

1. the percentage of respondents noticing changes after the bypass opened (whether or not the change was an improvement or a worsening) — in order to gauge the extent of awareness of an impact that is associated with the bypass;

2. the net percentage of respondents noticing improvements after the bypass opened (% noticing improvements minus percent noticing worsening conditions) — in order to assess the direction and degree of perceived changes;

3. the net percentage of respondents satisfied with current conditions — in order to measure the absolute level of satisfaction currently.

5 Traffic-related changes
Figure 2 shows traffic and air pollution levels recorded before and after the opening of the bypass, and it shows perceptions of changes in noise levels from the household survey. As can be seen, traffic was reduced by approximately 40% on the High Street after the opening, and this reduction has been maintained against a background of increasing traffic approaching the village on the A29. Although traffic travelling along the A272 East/West route was shown to increase by approximately 10% after the bypass opened, it has since reduced to levels prior to opening.

Carbon monoxide monitoring has recorded an increase after the opening, which is indicated by a ‘warning’ symbol in the Figure. However, the amount of this pollutant is well within the nationally recommended maximum. This increase could be due to the measurement site being close to the A272 East/West route on which traffic increased slightly. Also this air pollution count should be treated with caution because only one counter was used.

Noise levels, have been reported as reducing significantly by household survey respondents living close to the High Street and its peripheral roads. Small improvements have also been noted around the rail station, elsewhere in the village. As would be expected, respondents living close to the bypass have reported worsening traffic noise, as have the small number of households in the new housing study area with experience of conditions prior to the bypass

6 Impact on local economy and accessibility
Preliminary analyses indicate a mixed picture regarding the impact of the bypass on a range of factors affecting the attractiveness of the village centre, as shown in Chart 2. Most respondents from the on-street survey did not notice any significant changes after the bypass opened in the appearance of the High Street, the attractiveness of shops to customers, access by foot and access by car. It is only with respect to road safety that the majority perceived an impact. Of the people noticing change, there was a net satisfaction that all the former aspects had improved apart from the ability of shops to attract customers. The largest improvement was for road safety (+51%). Although, the indicator for change in the attractiveness of shops shows a small negative change, it should be noted that current net satisfaction levels are also relatively low (at +37%). Similar perceptions were also recorded in the household survey.

Evidence from local economic counts of businesses and employment in the village is shown in Chart 3 and Chart 4, respectively. The number of businesses in Billingshurst Ward has continued to rise faster than numbers in Horsham District and in the South East Region.

Continued in next column >>

 

The Story So Far
( the original story of the partneship)

When the Billingshurst bypass was built, the village became a new place. It lost much of its traffic and gained many new inhabitants. The Parish Council knew that it had to find out what the community wanted for its larger village and so what had to be done to meet that need. The Village Appraisal in 2001 provided guidance on the community’s priorities and the Council secured, with Horsham District Council’s help, some £3million from the developers to help to make things happen.

What has been done?

A more pedestrian friendly village

Less traffic in the village unfortunately meant faster traffic, so the first objective was to make Billingshurst a safer place. The school bus lay-by in Stane Street, removed one of the hazards in Station Road but there remained many other areas of concern. Traffic calming measures were proposed and discussed at public meetings. It was clear that some way had to be found that provided more safety, but did not stop the business life of the village. The Council decided, in consultation with HDC, on a three-phase approach giving the opportunity to change plans after each phase if it was proving unsatisfactory. Almost two phases have now been completed, only the crossing in West Street remaining to be done. These measures are designed to slow traffic and provide a safer environment for pedestrians. The third phase is the enhancement of the village centre. Two exhibitions have shown some of the proposals. However the Council was against going ahead with this until the flooding problems in the High Street had been solved. Following pressure and suggestions for preventative measures from the Parish Council, HDC and Southern Water hope to have this problem under control shortly, clearing the way for further public consultation before the implementation of a final plan.

Providing for a larger Community

The Council also wanted to help new residents coming to the village and provide facilities to meet their needs. Part of the money from the by-pass was used to provide new playing fields in conjunction with the cricket and football clubs. These are now in place but a pavilion, which was the subject of two failed Lottery applications, has yet to be built and the area developed as a wider recreation area. To do this further funds are required.

The Village Hall was not going to be big enough for the larger parish and so an Annex was designed and built. This is now in full operation and is available for hire in full or part by anyone in the Parish or for other individuals or organizations when not in local use. Throughout the Parish new housing meant a need for new children’s play areas with suitable safe equipment. Over the last few years old equipment has been replaced and new sites built. There are now nine areas in use requiring constant attention, regrettably too frequently due to damage by vandals. In addition the Skateboard Park has been developed which has been welcomed by many children but not by all the community. The Council has sought to find a solution to this problem which would meet the needs of all but, so far, in spite of many public meetings, this is still unresolved. Although a swimming pool was wanted by many and a place for it with a car park was identified, the £1,000,000 from the developers was not enough. More money is still needed. Providing a welcome for newcomers and visitors was something the Council felt would help develop the whole community. A grant was obtained for a ‘Managing Growth’ project which in conjunction with other bodies in Billingshurst provided Welcome Packs for newcomers and visitors. The project organizers also held a Christmas event in Jengers Mead in 2001 which also marked the start of the Farmers Market.

What is proposed for the future?

The Council is now starting to produce a so-called Design and Planning Statement which is a document designed to be used as supplementary planning guidance. It sets out how the community of Billingshurst views their Parish and how they would like to have a say in the development of the village and hamlets in the future. This document will help to see that Billingshurst’s wishes are considered when planning applications go before the Development Control (South) committee at HDC. It is also hoped that the Parish Council can become a Quality Council. As well as showing professionalism in the council, the qualification will give it a greater status in the eyes of central government. However, the Council knows that many people want to see more improvements happen in the area, and to this end the council initiated the Community Partnership with other bodies in Billingshurst. This Partnership has devised a number of actions to make Billingshurst and its surrounding hamlets and countryside into a better place for all. It is helping to take existing projects forward and to run new projects to take other ideas forward. The Council hopes that you will welcome these initiatives and will give your assistance in whatever way you can.

Is the Parish Council doing anything else?

Maintenance of all the Council’s property and grounds throughout the parish has to be done. It tries to make the Parish a pleasant place to visit and live in which means looking after its trees, keeping open areas free from rubbish and grounds neat, pleasant and safe to visit. Through its Planning Committee it tries to see that plans for new and expanded houses are in keeping with and not detrimental to their surrounds. Through its Finance Committee it looks after all its finances as efficiently as it can keeping Parish precept down to a reasonable level which, this year, will be less than the cost of living increase.

The work to create the Billingshurst community action plan commenced in 2002 when the Parish Council, in conjunction with a number of community groups, commenced a Healthcheck process under the guidance of the Countryside Agency. This process, which involved the collection of data and a number of public consultations, has been underway ever since.

The cumulative output from the work so far is this action plan and the 7 key projects, which were identified during the process. Some of the Projects have already been worked upon to an advanced stage by the Parish Council and appointed Committees, but are included to permit a full overview of the aims and aspirations of our community. As you read through the plan you will see a number of common areas identified and these cross over into the various projects we have now initiated.

The plan has been adopted by the Parish Council as a framework for action through the specific projects identified. Any views or comments on the contents of the plan are welcome. Please pass them in writing, to “The Chairman Partnership Group” via the Parish Office.

Vision for Billingshurst

  • The aim of this plan is to develop and maintain an inclusive society at ease with itself as we manage a changing and growing community and environment. The principal objectives are:
  • Develop an inclusive safe and secure community at ease with itself and its surroundings.
  • Protect the green spaces whilst allowing for the housing needs of its residents, present and future, to be met.
  • Provide support for employers who can offer a wide range of career opportunities.
  • Enable tourists and visitors to get the most from the countryside and heritage in and around the community.

Provide a pleasant accessible centre for shopping, leisure, medical and educational services which are the first choice for residents and the surrounding villages.

__________________________________________

 

<< from previous column

However, this growth is not reflected in the retail and hotel/restaurant sectors. Despite the rise in the number of businesses, the amount of employment in the ward has dipped due, to the growth in small businesses at the expense of larger employers.

A summary of some the results from the business survey is shown in Chart 5 and confirm this mixed picture, in which the bypass has contributed to small changes. The business survey sample comprised, in the main, businesses from the retail and hotel/restaurant sectors. Of those that perceived change, more reported that customer numbers decreased than increased, while conversely more reported that turnover increased than decreased. This might reflect a drop in passing trade, where people stop for small items such as newspapers, but indicate that businesses have maintained trade for larger items, for which people are prepared to make a special trip to the village centre.

So far, the analysis has not taken take into account the size of changes in customer numbers and turnover, which will be studied in subsequent stages. However, in agreement with the on-street survey, the majority of respondents did not notice any change after the bypass opened.

7 Wider quality of life impacts
Chart 6 shows evidence from the household survey for the wider quality of life impacts in the local study areas, except the new housing area where the sample is small. In the area close to the High Street, net percentages of respondents reported noticing improvements in the ‘neighbourhood as a place to live’ and in road safety; but they noticed worsening street cleanliness and antisocial behaviour. Although many respondents did not notice changes at all, the proportions noticing change are considerably greater than for changes in the aspects of local economy in Chart 2, except for street cleanliness. Therefore, there is evidence, in the short term at least, that the bypass has contributed more significantly to changing wider quality of life issues than to the local economy and accessibility.

 

Billingshurst Community Partnership 2002 - 2012 Action Plan

Can now be found here

E U Democracy for Youth Project

-

Billingshurst Community

Ten members of Mountmellick Youth Development Centre (MYDC) travelled to Billingshurst, England as part of a youth democracy exchange programme. The trip took place from Saturday October 23 to Monday October 25. The aim of the project is to provide an opportunity for young people to exchange cultural identities with one another. When the participants met together in England both groups shared their cultural differences and views. The group of young people from Billingshurst will return to Mountmellick in February 2011.

During their time in England the young people from both communities were taken to see famous sights in London and Portmouth.

Billingshurst Community


The London Eye

Billingshurst Community
HMS Victory

Billingshurst Community

 

 

 

 

Jubillee Fields Project
The judges comment was,

"This Community Partnership scheme has provided Billingshurst with an important asset"


The provision of the fishing lake has become a haven for wildlife and within a few years. it is hoped that the tree and shrub planting scheme will further enhance the area. Whilst the site was being inspected a wide range of species was found.



Illustration by Chas Alexander

Directors of the Partnership

This archive shows the changes of Directors over the years

Directors as at 24th June 2006

Name. Position held.
  Burke Tony (Mr.) Finance 
 Campbell Denise (Mrs.)  
 Griffin John (Mr.)  
 Jewkes John (Mr.)  
 Johnson Ken (Mr.) Company Secretary 
 Perks Patrick (Mr.) Chairman 


Directors as at 7th July 2007

Name. Position held.
  Burke Tony (Mr.) Finance 
 Campbell Denise (Mrs.)  
 Griffin John (Mr.)  
 Johnson Ken (Mr.) Company Secretary 
 Perks Patrick (Mr.) Chairman 


Directors as at 5th July 2008

Name. Position held.
  Burke Tony (Mr.) Finance 
 Campbell Denise (Mrs.)  
 Griffin John (Mr.)  
 Johnson Ken (Mr.) Company Secretary 
 Perks Patrick (Mr.) Chairman 


Directors as at 11th July 2009

Name. Position held.
  Burke Tony (Mr.) Finance 
 Campbell Denise (Mrs.)  
 Griffin John (Mr.)  
 Johnson Ken (Mr.) Company Secretary 
 Perks Patrick (Mr.) Chairman 
 Sandy Duck (Mrs.) Administration Secretary 

Directors as at 10th July 2010

Name. Position held.
 Burke Tony (Mr.) Finance 
 Owen Davies (Mr.) Chairman
 Campbell Denise (Mrs.)  
 Griffin John (Mr.)  
 Johnson Ken (Mr.) Company Secretary 
 Perks Patrick (Mr.)  


Directors as at July 2011

Name. Position held.
 Burke Tony (Mr.) Finance 
 Owen Davies (Mr.) Chairman
 Campbell Denise (Mrs.)  
 Griffin John (Mr.)  
 Johnson Ken (Mr.) Company Secretary 
 Perks Patrick (Mr.)  


Directors as at 10th July 2010

Name. Position held.
 Burke Tony (Mr.) Finance 
 Owen Davies (Mr.) Chairman
 Campbell Denise (Mrs.)  
 Griffin John (Mr.)  
 Johnson Ken (Mr.) Company Secretary 
 Perks Patrick (Mr.)  


Directors as at 6th July 2013

Name. Position held.
 Burke Tony (Mr.) Finance 
 Owen Davies (Mr.)  
 Campbell Denise (Mrs.)  Chairman
 Griffin John (Mr.)  
 Johnson Ken (Mr.) Company Secretary 
 Perks Patrick (Mr.)  


BILLINGSHURST HEALTHCHECK – TRANSPORT RECOMMENDATIONS

As a prelude to the main recommendations a number of statements need to be considered.

1.Dominance of the car as a prime means of transport needs to be “challenged”, which can only come from :-

- improvements in public transport.

- Ensuring value for money from public transport subsidies.

- Easier access to a coordinated system of cycle tracks, including cycle security.

- Encouraging people to walk when and wherever possible.

2. In considering transport matters a balance between economic and environmental issues must be borne in mind.

3. Transport/road safety issues must be considered separately and in depth.

4. The ability to integrate further the hinterland with Billingshurst is frought with problems and cost.

5. The need to provide a public transport system to take account of the need of young people, particularly in terms of extra curricula and social activity is also very difficult.

SECTION 1 – PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Trains - there is a need to encourage more usage from non commuter traffic.

- disabled and elderly people need to have boarding/leaving trains made easier.

- bus services need improved linkage with train arrivals, together with better waiting facilities

- car parking in the area of the station requires improvement and the whole area needs to be made more presentable.

Buses – most hinterland villages/communities are not adequately served.

- lack of low platform buses makes boarding/leaving a problem for many.

- no evening services exist.

- Improve bus information, particularly print clarity, cleaner glass and information on all services.

Coaches – no services exist and, as such, no need has been defined.

Recommendations
i) To carry out a review to consider how best to increase rail usage. To include :-

- Ramping platforms to permit easier access/exit.

- Improve station parking facilities to allow for daytime shoppers etc.

- Improve bus timetable linkage with a commitment to meet some incoming trains. This will require train/bus interface.

- Refurbish area around the station.

- Refer also to the “Road Safety” heading.

ii) Carry forward a linked bus review to improve service and usage. To include :

- Easier bus boarding/leaving via ramped areas at bus stops.

- Consider daytime service and whether subsidy per head is value for money.

- Consider one service per ?? in each direction meeting a specific train in each direction. Bus/rail interface will be necessary to allow for late running of trains.

- Consider Dial a Ride service for hinterland communities into Billingshurst.

- Include consideration of extra curricula/ social needs of young people.

- Make recommendations on ways to improve bus and rail timetable information availability. Better bus stop information is required.

SECTION 2 – GETTING AROUND.

Walking – within Billingshurst :-

- Need to improve safety of Clevelands/Church path

- A network of signed footpaths should be created within the Market Town

- The provision of a footpath linking both main car parks is necessary.

- Consideration should be given to alleviating the dangers on the pavement at the bottom of
East St..

- The pavement between Austens and the Kings Head should be widened to allow for wheelchairs and two-way foot traffic.

Walking – within the hinterland:-

- whilst pavements exist from Adversane and Five Oaks to Billingshurst, they are extremely dangerous due to narrowness in parts and the speed/size of traffic. They need widening or placing behind hedgerows.

- In general terms walking from other hinterland communities is not an option for most people due to distance and time factors.

Cycling – The ad hoc nature of cycle paths, the lack of secure storage, plus the dangers in cycling on the areas A road network, all serve as a disincentive to the use of cycles.

The mix of pedestrian and cyclists on pavements can be dangerous and is not liked by many walking pavement users.

Cars – the car is an essential “tool” in most peoples lives and is a key factor in getting to school or work, in the local economy, for social and leisure needs, as well as to use public transport. It is, however, detrimental to the environment, whilst remaining the first choice of transport by most. Car use (and other vehicles) create severe problems at certain times of day, and in specific areas within the locality.

For the majority the car is essential for :-

- Train use.

- Getting to/from work.

- Shopping.

- Infant/Primary school arrival/collection.

- Leisure purposes.

Pressure points within Billingshurst are :-

- The A272 through Billingshurst.

- The area around the Station.

Peak traffic times are :-

- 8a.m. to 9.30a.m.Monday to Friday.

- 4.30p.m. to 6.00p.m. Monday to Friday

- Shopping times, say 10.00a.m. to 11.00 a.m. Thursday to Saturday, when car parking becomes a problem.

Recommendations

iii) Review the current footpath network for safety and develop a signed and secure path structure throughout the Market Town. Such review to consider footpath access between both major car parks and ensure all pavements and paths allow two way foot traffic and wheelchair access.

iv) Create a full cycle path network throughout Billingshurst with separate “tracks” for foot/cycle traffic whenever possible. Such a system should include outlying parish communities. To encourage cycle use secure storage should be provided at all main points of need, i.e. shops, library, schools, outside the Station, and on all Industrial Estates, etc.

v) With a view to minimising the impact of the car, whilst endeavouring to cater for the growth in car usage, a thorough review of car usage should be undertaken to include :-

a) Current parking requirements to ascertain the extent of parking needs, edge of Market Town parking for workers, short v long term parking needs, parking restrictions within the shopping area ( i.e. one or two hour maxima) , and improvement in parking facilities at the Station.

b) The Walking Bus scheme should be considered for local schoolchildren with the aim of alleviating traffic congestion around the infant/primary schools at school arrival/departure time.

c) As part of an overall review of road safety (See Section C) traffic flows should be analysed to see if a “one way” system could be introduced to the High St./Coombe Hill area. Such analysis to include pedestrianisation of Mill Lane.

SECTION 3 ROAD SAFETY.

From accident statistics there are a number of clear accident points. The prime danger areas are :-

- Adversane.

- Newbridge

- The level crossing area at the Station.

- Bottom of East St. facing Budgens.

Recommendations

vi) Adversane crossroads. The imposition of the 40m.p.h. speed limit may have the desired effect of reducing speed/accidents at this junction but it is too early for trends to emerge or statistics to become available. Should this scheme not work to the desired effect then consideration should be given to the introduction of a major roundabout.

vii) Newbridge. The narrowness of the bridge is such that it provides encouragement to two way traffic without there being adequate width. A “one direction” priority system or traffic lights should be considered.

viii) Station level crossing. Being set at an angle to the road, the level crossing is too narrow to allow for easy two-way traffic flow. Additionally large vehicles enter or exit the Industrial Estate. Whilst traffic flow over the crossing is slow, and thereby any vehicle to vehicle accident damage slight, the real danger is to pedestrians. Negotiations with Network Rail should be undertaken with a view to widening access to the crossing to allow for two way vehicle flow and pedestrian pathways.

ix) A272 junction with the High St. The A272 access to the High St. is not only narrow and a danger to pedestrians but is made more difficult by traffic turning into Mill Lane/the Library Car Park plus the needs of Budgens delivery vehicles. To improve safety the following issues should be reviewed :-

a) pedestrian traffic around the NWB corner to be directed via little East St. and Rose Hill

b) Restricting A29 southerly traffic down the High St., from turning left towards Haywards Heath.

c) Prioritising A272 traffic over High St. traffic at this junction.

d) Pedestrianising Mill Lane thus stopping the need for cars crossing A272 traffic flows east.

e) Stop parking outside Budgens.

f) Stop pedestrian traffic from crossing between Burdocks and NWB.

SECTION 4 – ACCESSIBILITY.

Adequate parking spaces for disabled exist in the Library and Jengers Mead car parks, but the area around the Station has no such facility. Pavements are reasonable with dropped kerbs and “bobble” strips being good. The pavement outside “Monsoon” is too narrow and should be improved in the planned traffic calming measures in the High St.

Problems exist in getting on/off trains and buses. Both are difficult for wheelchair, pushchairs and cycle travel.

Whilst access to shops and public buildings is fair, the library requires walking across car park/road and a review should be carried out into the “island site” nature of the library position.

Only pedestrian crossings exist which have been adapted with “bobble” paving for those with impaired sight, which could be improved through the introduction of pelican crossing facilities.

Recommendations.

x) Provide disabled parking spaces and normal parking facilities in the vicinity of the Station.

xi) Include broadening of pavement outside “Monsoon” within the High St traffic calming measures.

xii) Open negotiations with both Bus and Train authorities to make access easier through the creation of ramped on/off areas.

ixv) Consider installation of a pedestrian crossing from the library to opposite pavement.

xv) Widen road linking the library car park to Frenches Mead/Combe Hill.

SECTION E - VISITORS TO BILLINGSHURST.

Little exists to assist “visitors” to Billingshurst in finding their way around. No signposts, brochures, maps, or information centre exists in what is an expanding Market Town with substantial influxes of people to live and considerable number of visitors to Billingshurst for work, leisure, or shopping purposes.

Recommendations

xvi) Create a system of “finger board” signposts throughout.

xvii) Introduce an “information centre” in the shopping area and near the station.

xviii) Have easily accessible maps available pinpointing all main buildings/areas for visitor retention.

ixx) Create a series of permanent map boards at key spots.

xx) Ensure improved availability, with clarity of information, of bus and train timetables. All details to be available in all spots. i.e. bus timetables to include train times and vice versa