Business owners in a small village have complained that they have lost up to 80 per cent of their earnings due to a road being closed for nearly three months.

The A29 in Pulborough was initially closed in December after a landslip blocked part of the road.

Now, 11 weeks later, the road is yet to be opened with residents calling the repair works “beyond shambolic”.

Andrew Moffatt, a Pulborough resident, said: “There’ve been a series of shambolic road repair issues at Wiston bends, then Duncton and this time at Pulborough which is beyond shambolic.”

Matthew Hennings, Managing Director of Hennings Wine merchants based in the village, said: “At the public meeting the highways officer said several times this was not an issue about money or liability but if that was true why have they not been able to get this road open by now?

The Argus: Matthew HenningsMatthew Hennings (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

“Footfall to our shop is 20 per cent down and our drivers are needing to spend a lot longer navigating unsuitable roads to get in and out of our warehouse.

"It is dangerous and unacceptable that this has gone on for so long.

"We need the road open to two-way traffic within the two weeks promised – creating a one-way solution with traffic lights would harm our businesses even more.”

A public meeting was held by West Sussex County Council on Monday, February 27, where local residents vented their frustrations about the closure.


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The road was first closed on December 28, 2022, with the road currently blocked in both direction between Station Road and St Mary’s Church.

According to West Sussex County Council, the landslide is covering the narrowest part of the road with steep embankments on both sides.

Councillor Joy Dennis, cabinet member for highways and transport said: “We do appreciate how frustrating this is for everyone affected but please be assured we are taking the best technical advice and doing everything we can to expediate the process.

“Our primary objective is to ensure that the road can be reopened for use safely by all road users.”

A council spokesman added: 

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “We fully appreciate the frustrations felt by local residents about the ongoing situation and the resulting inconvenience along with the hardship felt by some businesses in the area.

“We understand the calls to re-open the road, even with a temporary measure which opens the road using a single lane controlled by two-way traffic lights. We continue to give this very careful consideration and feel that it would create even more inconvenience and confusion while we continue negotiations with the landowners.

“We feel that it is best to come to an agreement with the landowners to allow us onto their land to undertake the works to re-open the road to two-way traffic. If we were to go ahead and install a temporary measure which utilises concrete blocks to create a single lane down the centre of the road, then once an agreement has been made with the landowners, we would then need to re-close the road, and reinstate the diversion route.  We believe that this would result in potential confusion for road users caused by the change in status to the road.

“We are working hard to reach an agreement with the landowners so we can progress with implementation of the interim works to reopen the road while a permanent solution is developed and designed and agreed with all relevant parties.”