Singleton & Charlton Community Highways Scheme – Update on Progress

Singleton & Charlton Community Highways Scheme – Update on Progress


Singleton & Charlton Community Highways Scheme – update on progress

Our original proposal back in July 2022 was a ‘wish-list’ of improvements for the roads in Singleton and Charlton, ranging from crossings to school-parking and lower speed limits. We were up against numerous other communities applying for the same funding, so we were very lucky to be selected. However, due to budget constraints, what was on offer was a slimmed down version of our proposal. Then came the feasibility and road safety checks, which knocked a few more things out.

What we’ve been promised is a huge step in the right direction:

· 20mph speed limit throughout Singleton: on the A286 from near the cricket pitch, right through to the village gateways on the Midhurst side, then on all minor roads to the east of this, out to include Bankside.

· Changes to the bus stop: improved access and paving on the northbound side, narrowing the road slightly to slow the traffic, with a courtesy crossing between northbound and southbound.

· Changes to the Town Lane junction to slow traffic down as it takes the corner heading south.

· A courtesy crossing by the cricket pitch and another outside Little Drove Mews on Budd’s Hill. The crossings will consist of a dropped kerb either side with tactile paving and bollards. The cricket pitch crossing will link on both sides via new sections of footpath.

· Replacement of the crash-barrier at Cobblers Corner with a wood-clad version, to improve the appearance.

· Reinstatement of the red road markings on the A286 each side of the village.

· Improvements to the crossing outside the museum.

In addition to all this, we already have the requested 30mph limit up Town Lane as far as the museum entrance.

What we didn’t get and why:

· Removal of centre lines: Highways feel that these are needed until the traffic gets used to the new road layout – we’ve been promised that once we’ve got evidence of slower speeds, this will be reviewed.

· School parking: while this would – and will yet – improve safety outside the school, the costs would have pushed the total budget above the amount that could be allocated for the Community Highways Scheme. The Parish Council is therefore pursuing other sources of funding for this.

· Charlton proposals: These consisted of village gateways and a 20mph limit throughout the village. However, in order to focus on the essential improvements to the A286 – and so increase our chances of being selected for funding – we were advised to withdraw these from the CHS application and pursue them separately. We currently have a TRO application under way for the speed limit reduction and the gateways are at the design and funding stage.

· Changes to Cobblers Corner: The proposals here depended on removing most of the white lines and requiring drivers to slow down and work out for themselves how to get round the bend. We’d also like to get rid of the big yellow chevron signs by the former café. However, all this is currently a step too far for Highways, who fear that it would cause accidents – so the plan is to keep traffic speeds under review and revisit this when we apply (later) to have the white centre lines removed.

All in all, we are very pleased with what’s on offer. Construction is scheduled for 2024/25, so we expect to see activity later this year.