Driver taken to hospital in collision on ‘rat run’ Wick road: councillor speaks out

(Left to right): Network Rail level crossing manager Clive Robey and councillor Mike Northeast
(Left to right): Network Rail level crossing manager Clive Robey and councillor Mike Northeast

A councillor has described a collision on a road used as a rat run as an ‘accident waiting to happen’ after a driver was taken to hospital.

According to Sussex Police, two cars collided at 6pm on last Monday in Toddington Lane, Wick.

One of the drivers was checked over at Worthing Hospital and investigations continue, police said.

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Speaking after the accident, Arun district councillor Mike Northeast said residents had ‘consistently complained’ about the speed of traffic using the Mill Lane and Toddington Lane ‘rat run’ to avoid delays, particularly when the Lyminster level crossing gates were closed.

While plans for a Lyminster bypass and other works on the A259 would ‘put an end to the problem’, this will take at least two years, he said.

“Something needs to be done now to ensure the speed of vehicles on this route is reduced, otherwise the fear is that further accidents will occur,” he added.

The Courtwick with Toddington ward councillor called on West Sussex County Council to reconsider redesigning the junction of Lyminster Road and Mill Lane to ‘cut the speed of traffic entering Mill Lane’.

At a public meeting on March 23, Network Rail announced it would close the Toddington Lane level crossing once the Lyminster Bypass was complete, scheduled for 2020. Click here for the full report.
At the meeting, level crossing manager Clive Robey claimed almost 1,900 cars a day used Toddington Lane and its crossing as a rat run to the tip and due to the fact it has half-barriers.

Speaking after the meeting, Izzie Burton of Holmes Way, Wick, described Toddington Lane as ‘appalling’.

She said she had to walk in the road with her 18-month-old daughter Layla-Mai to get her to nursery due to parking issues.

In response, a county council spokesman said: “It would not be right for us to speculate about what happened and the cause, particularly if police investigations are ongoing.”