How to prepare and prevent damage from such natural phenomena must be difficult. This surge was the highest for over 60 years so they must have had their work cut out. Never the less it sounded as if over the years civil engineers have taken preventative actions which did make things better in some areas than perhaps they could have been.
Burgess Hill and Worlds End was for most of last week at a standstill. The reason being that the tunnel at Worlds End was closed for five days while engineering works took place to make repairs to the road and locate the cause of the constant subsidence and pot holes outside Wivelsfield station.
The problem turned out to be a massive spring which when exposed gushed forth in torrents. It has now been capped or redirected, and the road is once again restored and the traffic flowing once again.
This road closure has highlighted the lack of suitable alternative routes through and around Worlds End and Burgess Hill. The problem being the mainline railway which has insufficient crossings and bridges to cope with the increased flow of traffic. In years long gone by the roads were adequate, but as the population has escalated dramatically in recent years and thousands more houses are planned in the area on either side of the track, it is no longer the case.
Motorists took up to 45 minutes to travel from one side of Burgess Hill to the other. Parents were dropping children off at school late, they were getting to work late, people were missing appointments and trains, and the roads were grinding to a halt with delivery lorries being diverted through the town.
This problem will only get worse with the additional housing in the pipeline. Neither Worlds End nor Folders Lane will be able to cope. The subject of an additional crossing, either a bridge or a tunnel as well as other important infrastructure requirements must now be a priority.
The RSPCA is once again in the news for directing funds which have been donated by the public for animal welfare, towards political campaigns. They have poured millions of pounds into court cases relating to the badger cull, field sports and the persecution of individuals.
It now seems that the general public who donate believing the charity’s purpose is to protect vulnerable domestic animals which require care or rehoming, veterinary treatment or humanely dispatching when owners can no longer cope, are losing patience.
The RSPCA no longer provides a ‘lost pet service’, but are redirecting owners to a profit making organisation which charges £12 to place an advertisement on line.
If the RSPCA want to make a useful contribution to the domestic animal population, they should consider offering a free service to spay dogs and cats. There are far too many puppies and kittens born which are neither planned for nor wanted, but the cost of the procedure charged by commercial vets is prohibitive.
Instead of squandering valuable resources taking people and organisations to court, and banging political drums, the RSPCA should consider their purpose, the terms of their charitable status, and the wishes of the general public without whose support and funding the organisation would collapse.
My young stock which were happily grazing the lush grass in the house park early on Sunday morning, decided by 9 o’clock that the grass on the other-side looked more tempting or at least more fun. So 20 lively and over excited Sussex steers spent a happy time careering across the lawn much to the amusement of the dogs who decided to join in the fun and round them up in the rose garden! The moral of this story is to check the battery on the electric fence more regularly!
Carola Godman Irvine