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More bus lanes in Manor Royal as funding agreed to improve Crawley’s transport infrastructure

It’s a proposal that sounds good on paper but will the reality come back to bite?

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A £820,000 local growth fund has been approved by Coast to Captial which will allow the continuation of the Crawley Growth Programme.

This phase is all about improving transport connectivity in the business district which is infamous for its traffic congestion and lack of parking.

The aim is simple. Provide a better public transport network and encourage people to leave their cars at home and use the bus.

But will the idea actually translate into reality?

First is the aim to increase the bus lanes along Manor Royal so that it runs the whole length from London Rd down to Gatwick Road. At present it only runs west from Faraday Rd along to London Rd.

In order for this to work it means widening the road and removing much of the grass verges so that there is room for the additional bus lane. This in turn will of course mean roadworks but with an anticipated completion before the end of 2020 this minor disruption will then provide the bus lane infrastructure planned.

But there is also another reason to encourage people onto public transport. Carbon emissions. With so many commuters in the business district the pollution levels are high.

According to Coast to Capital, this scheme will unlock opportunities for the local area including further investment in housing and business space, but it is not clear how this would be the case as this would only naturally increase traffic not reduce it.

Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital said:

“Crawley helps establish the West Sussex area as a thriving economic hub. Close links to Gatwick airport place Crawley at the beating heart of Coast to Capital and we are delighted to award further Local Growth Funding towards the Crawley Growth Programme, bringing our total contribution up to £15.4 million. ”

Steve Sawyer, Executive Director at Manor Royal BID said:

“Our success as a business destination is intrinsically linked to having access to an efficient, easy and reliable transport system. This additional investment will contribute to plans to encourage more active, sustainable travel into and around Manor Royal and closely aligns to our shared aspirations for the area.”

Whatever the outcome be prepared for upcoming roadworks and a campaign to get you out of your car and onto a bus.

Business

Nervous time for Crawley & Gatwick Pret A Manger shops as chain announces closure of 30 shops and at least 1,000 job losses

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Pret A Manger is to close 30 of its shops as it struggles to cope with the problems caused by COVID-19.

According to the food chain they had faced ‘significant operating losses’ during lockdown.

The closure puts around 1,000 jobs at risk and the chain has said it will make these closures before the end of this year whilst also reducing staff in its other locations.

Crawley has one Pret A Manager within The Martletts with several others located within Gatwick Airport itself.

It is not yet clear which shops will close but with jobs cuts to come across its shops it will be a very nervous time for Crawley’s shop staff to see if they are affected in any way.

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