IT is most surprising to hear, once again, of a threat to close the level crossing at Toddington Lane.
When Arun District Council published its development brief for land at Toddington (known as site 7), it contained at paragraph 6:10 a note that the railway body had previously been in favour of such a closure, but local inhabitants had vociferously decided against this as long ago as the early 1970s.
The brief says it did not envisage the closure of the level crossing and expressly says: “Public response to the consultation draft was overwhelmingly that the level crossing should remain open.”
It went on to suggest that the present half-barrier arrangement could perhaps be replaced by an alternative which would be “likely to reduce the volume of ‘rat-running’ traffic using Toddington Lane”.
There has been a significant increase in the traffic using the land since then as a means of avoiding the notorious Lyminster Road crossing.
Today I saw the tailback of traffic from this crossing extending back beyond the Wick roundabout and even into Wick Street itself.
It is also very common to find dozens of vehicles at a standstill northwards as far as The Six Bells pub.
Instead of facilitating the flow of traffic in the neighbourhood, the Eden Park development of 400 homes has been allowed to construct an extremely narrow road as the only way out southwards from the older hamlet of Toddington.
Holmes Way has no restrictions on parking, which constantly squeezes vehicles into a single file.
There are three problems needing an urgent solution:-
1/ the serious congestion caused by Lyminster Road crossing;
2/ the absence of any control of parking which partly obstructs Holmes Way;
3/ the present volume of traffic using Toddington Lane as a through route – closing the Toddington crossing would not provide a solution, it would merely exacerbate the problem elsewhere.
This is one example of proposals made by authorities which refuse to consider the wider implications of their intentions.
There may be some advantages to the rail operators, but dozens of residents both north and south of Toddington crossing would be very seriously inconvenienced.
Removing the present right of way would add a lot more traffic to Worthing Road, Lyminster Road and the two roundabouts.
It would also destroy a right of access that has been in existence for hundreds of years – long before railways were thought of!
W. F. Daggett