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Local highways team in West Sussex tackle nearly 150 emergencies in 24 hours because of Storm Ciara



Pictured: one of the dramatic scenes facing highways crews on Sunday – a tree down in West Burton

Highways teams tackled nearly 150 emergencies in the 24 hours following Storm Ciara’s arrival in West Sussex.

Trees were blown down and roads flooded, with a southbound section of the A24 still closed on Monday, plus five other road closures in place.

A West Sussex Highways spokesperson said: “Given the weather warnings, extra teams had been put on standby over the weekend – all part of the council’s #WinterReady preparations.

“From Sunday morning to Monday, crews from our contractor, Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP), attended 149 emergencies, clearing and reopening roads as soon as it was safe to do so. To put these numbers into context, there were only 230 emergencies across the whole of February 2019.

“We would like to thank BBLP’s crews and also the public for their patience while the clear-up continues.”

By 2pm today (Monday), several roads had been re-opened but six closures were still in place, the busiest being a section of the A24, southbound at Hop Oast. This was closed due to severe flooding, with a diversion in place. However, the section of road was expected to be reopened later this afternoon (Monday, 10 February).

The five other roads still closed are:

Worthing Road, Horsham – large tree down

Broadford Bridge Road, West Chiltington – large tree down, will require two days to clear

Rock Road, Storrington – tree down

Gay Street Lane – UK Power Networks on site

Langton Lane, Hurstpierpoint – power lines down, passed to UK Power Networks

There were about a dozen other locations where footpaths have been closed or simple “give and take” set-ups deployed to keep traffic moving.


Crawley Down man pleads ‘not guilty’ to double murder as date set for trial



Daniel Gary Appleton, 37, an engineer, of Hazel Way, Crawley Down, is to face trial over the deaths of both his wife Amy Appleton, 32, and another woman, Sandy Seagrave, 76, of Kiln Road, Crawley Down, outside his property on Sunday, 22 December, 2019.

Appleton appeared by video-link at a plea and trial preparation hearing (PTPH) at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday (25 February) where he entered not guilty pleas to both murders.

His defence barrister, speaking on Appleton’s behalf, admitted his responsibility for both killings.

The trial is set for 6 July.

At the opening of inquests into the two women’s deaths at Centenary House, Crawley, on Tuesday 7 January West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield heard that post-mortem examinations had shown both women had died from head injuries.

Those hearings were adjourned until Tuesday 28 April.

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