Safety warnings have been issued after evidence that safety barriers blocking a road closed due to a landslide had been moved. 

It appears that some motorists have been ignoring the road closure on the A29 at Pulborough where there was a landslide as the barriers closing the road had been tampered with. 

West Sussex County Council has issued a renewed warning to drivers after highways officers found that the heavy-duty metal fencing and other safety barriers have been moved to try to avoid the road closure.

Geo-technical experts have assessed the embankments and advised it is not safe to reopen the road to vehicles and pedestrians.

A recent examination of the embankments showed further material has slipped on the landslide side and on the embankment opposite.

“I ask all road users to please heed our ‘road closed’ warning signs and safety barriers, which are in place for everyone’s safety,” said councillor Joy Dennis, cabinet member for highways and transport.

“I understand people’s frustrations with the diversion, but what would we tell people if we reopened the A29 too early, against expert advice, and given that land has slipped once, caused this road closure, and been found to have moved again?

“If someone was injured on the pavement or road below, what should we say to that person in hospital, or, heaven forbid, if someone died – what would we tell the family? It doesn’t bear contemplating.”

The Argus: The landslide has made the road unsafe for pedestrians and motoristsThe landslide has made the road unsafe for pedestrians and motorists (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

The council said the road would be reopened as quickly as possible, but only when it is safe.

Cllr Dennis added: "The land that has slipped is not owned by the County Council and we are continuing to work closely with the landowners involved, so officers and our specialist contractors can fully design the solution.

“Meanwhile, I would also ask road users to please follow the official diversion route.

“Many pothole repairs on the local roads have already been completed as a priority, with more to follow as soon as possible.”