Redesigned Broadbridge Way junction causes safety issues in Broadbridge Heath

One of our members had a very near miss incident on his bike at the crossing on the new “swan neck” road on the old A281 bypass at Broadbridge Heath. The cycling forum visited the site with him to look at the crossing. Our conclusion was that the crossing design contributed to the incident, and we thus have concerns about the safety of that design.

We have made a request to West Sussex County Council that the safety of the crossing is re-assessed in the light of the incident.

We also comment below on the crossing at the roundabout by the Tesco entrance.

The “swan neck” crossing

The location is close to the A281 Newbridge roundabout, marked in red on the map below.

The photo below shows the view of the crossing from the roundabout. The rider was coming off the roundabout and attempting the tight left turn over the crossing on the left to go up Billingshurst Road towards the old Broadbridge Heath village. This is a legal turn on a cycling desire line which saves the cyclist having to go around the “swan neck” road.

We have identified four problems with the current design:

First, visibility for pedestrians/cyclists on the crossing: the fence blocks the view of oncoming traffic for people on the crossing unless they are very close to the road. (This was the major problem the rider had). Someone on a bike will have their wheel almost on the road before they can look.
On a bike the design makes it impossible for someone to make a safe crossing (northbound) unless they stop. See this video example

Second, those coming from the old Broadbridge Heath village crossing southbound from the shared use path have to look 180 degrees behind them to see traffic approaching. And again, when on the crossing the fence makes seeing traffic leaving the roundabout very difficult. See this video example

Third, for drivers there are also problems. There is a chicane at the crossing on the “swan neck” road where drivers travelling north west (towards the old Broadbridge Heath village centre) have to give way. The design means that drivers are expected to cope with two issues at once: giving way to oncoming traffic and dealing with a pedestrian/cycle crossing. See the confusion caused to cars in the first video above.

Fourth, there are no signs to warn either drivers or users of the crossing of potential dangers.
According to West Sussex County Council the junction was subject to a full safety audit. We would be interested to see what comments were made in relation to people on bikes and walking across this junction.

Roundabout by the Tesco entrance

We identified two problems here:

First, at the pedestrian/cycle crossing (see the red line on the map below) the direction signs are at a height where users cannot see traffic on the roundabout unless they are very close to the road. On a bike this is particularly difficult due to its length. And if someone is using a non-standard bike e.g. with a box trailer at the front it is even more unsafe. See the photos below. Re-siting the direction sign would remove this hazard.

Second, for people on bikes leaving the Tesco exit who are wanting to turn left on to the new shared use path there is no convenient access point. Using the existing dropped kerb at the crossing means a difficult 180 degree turn even on a standard bike – this is near impossible with a non-standard bike. A dropped kerb at the point shown by a red circle on the map below would be very useful.

Someone on a bike here needs to be close to the edge of the junction to see past the direction signs

This picture shows a pedestrian on the island who is hidden by the direction signs


  1. George keegan says

    At Tescos use the undepass that’s what it’s there for?

  2. Lucy Trott says

    The junction at the south of the village is a hazard to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. When exiting the village, many drivers come hurtling round the corner at speed, whereas drivers netting the village (who are obliged to give way) have poor visibility around the bend and are unable to see oncoming traffic or cyclists until they are already committed to going through the single lane entry to the village.

  3. Sally Cook says

    I have the same concerns about the swan neck crossing but from a pedestrian point of view. The design seems dangerous and to go against human behaviour. On a walk today I saw a car speeding towards the chicane – luckily no car was coming the other way. It’s a very unusual design, difficult to see oncoming traffic and probably an accident waiting to happen.

  4. Perhaps you should ask WSCC to explain how it meets GG 119 Road safety audit (formerly HD 19/15) with regards to cyclists, and ask to see a copy of the report and who was in charge of its provision.

  5. Michael Gimber says

    Road signs obstructing visibility seems to be a common problem. We had similar issues where the A281 crosses the Downs Link before they were moved and made higher up.

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