Petworth town councillors see red over road crossing

PETWORTH town councillors have literally seen red after the South Downs National Park Authority rode roughshod over its preferred options for a crossing in Church Street.

They were delighted when they heard West Sussex County Council had been awarded £5,000 through the sustainable transport fund for the crossing from St Mary’s Church to the top of Lombard Street.

They were told the full cost was covered, no traffic regulation order was needed, warning signs would be placed before the bend and there would be no loss of parking outside the church.

Town councillors were given the choice of buff, grey or red for the crossing colour and unanimously chose red. Lord Egremont, St Mary’s Church, the National Trust and the Leconfield Estate were also all in favour of red and town councillors were told the decision rested with them.

But now they are furious to hear national park officers are insisting on a buff colour.

Chris Duncton told fellow town councillors: “I think the national park should be challenged. I don’t see why they should insist on something when Lord Egremont, the town council and everyone in Petworth prefer something else.”

Fellow councillor Juliet Fynes asked whether that meant the national park was also insisting all the other red markings in the town were changed.

They have asked town clerk Jean Huggett to take it up through highways officer Fiona Baker at West Sussex County Council.