VOTE: Should Midhurst Rother College be permitted to use Lamberts Lane as an entrance to the new school?

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Plans by Midhurst Rother College to use Lamberts Lane as an entrance to the new school have been branded a ‘nightmare’ by neighbouring residents.

And now town councillors are backing their fight against the plan which has emerged in discussions over the proposed school safety zone scheme for the new school.

The measures which were described as ‘overkill’ by town councillors include keep clear signs, flashing lights, red road surfacing patches and slow markings in North Street as well as double and single yellow lines in Lamberts Lane.

Measures in North Street were, said West Sussex County Council officers being proposed to stop parents dropping children off outside the school as no dropping off points had been included on the new school campus. In addition county council officers proposed yellow lines in Lamberts Lane to ‘help organise it in a safe manner’ following increased parking there after the introduction of car parking charges in the North Street car park.

It has also emerged that despite the understanding of residents and the town council, Midhurst Rother College plans to continue using the school entrance next to the veterinary surgery for pedestrians and cyclists.

Neighbour in Lamberts Lane, Mrs Blair-Belinda von der Heyde told town councillors this week: “Our big concern is that although the school said Lamberts Lane would no longer be an access they now appear to be going back on that and saying it is open to pedestrians.”

She said she feared it would also be used as a drop-off zone by parents which would be ‘a nightmare and very dangerous.’

“School children are not allowed to use it now as the school recognises it is dangerous. If they make it an access they will be putting children in the line of fire because cars come past us down Lamberts Lane at 40 and 50 mph and people have to dive into the wisteria to get out of the way.

“We don’t want any access in Lamberts Lane,” she said, “but the county council appears to be going back on their word, the clarity is not there.”

Mrs von der Heyde and her husband told town councillors they believed the plan to allow access in Lamberts Lane was a ‘short cut’ solution to fix a problem caused by not planning drop off points on the school site.

“The solution is not to put double yellow lines in the lane, it is to stick to the original plan and make it an emergency only access.”

Chairman of Midhurst Town Council John Etherington said: “We were surprised to hear they were going to open the access up because we thought it was only an emergency access.”

He said planners started with a blank canvas on the site and should have addressed these problems at an early stage. Town councillors are meeting officers of West Sussex County Council to discuss the proposed school safety zone scheme.