As you know MSDC have been relying on the traffic study they commissioned from SYSTRA to try and prove, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary, that hundreds more houses exiting onto Keymer Road / Folders Lane won’t cause gridlock.
We all know this is nonsense, so SOFLAG commissioned an expert transport consultant, GTA Civils, to examine the SYSTRA report and the claims it makes. The GTA Civils report found many issues with the SYSTRA study, and we sent a set of questions to MSDC. You can read all the details on our website here: http://www.soflag.co.uk/traffic-truth/
In summary though, there are 3 worrying things to highlight, which surely demonstrate what we’ve known all along, the study is deeply flawed and cannot be relied on as evidence:
• To comply with the NPPF, the traffic study should have contained safety study work. MSDC admit that this has not happened, and state that it will be completed in due course in time for the inspection. The public were consulted, and Councillors are being asked to vote on Wednesday, without knowing the impacts on road safety of Sites SA12 /13, based on the evidence of an incomplete transport model that has no safety study.
• MSDC admit that the traffic model uses average speeds to create traffic flows. This is useless on the southern side of Burgess Hill when roads and junctions are gridlocked in the morning and evening peaks – an average is meaningless.
• MSDC accept SYSTRA’s interpretation of only “additional severe impact” being a problem. But if the situation at a junction is already severe, this means that no amount of new development can have an “additional” impact to make it severe, when it is severe already. To use a simple analogy, you can’t make a full glass any fuller by pouring in more water, you only make a mess…