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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.

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Average families water & waste bill in Crawley to fall by almost £50 this year

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Southern Water Bill

The dramatic drop in the bill from Southern Water comes mainly as a result of a fall in price for the wasterwater element of the bills.

The drop of an average 11.2 per cent for 2020-21 is for the combined bill of water and wasterwater treatment services.

A typical combined bill for a domestic customer is expected to be £391 compared with an average charge of £440 last year – meaning a day’s services will cost only £1.07 a day – less than most bus fares. The cost is 13p a day or £49 a year less than last year.

The water element of bills is almost flat – the expected average is £159 compared with £156 in 2019-20. Wastewater bills will fall by an average £52 including a rebate of around £20 attributable to the company’s final settlement with Ofwat.

The big drop in bills comes at the start of a sustained fall in combined bills. Between 2020 and 2025 bills will fall by 18.4 per cent (adjusted for inflation). By 2025 the average household bill for water and wastewater will be just £343 a year. Water bills will fall 8 per cent during that time while wastewater bills will fall 24 per cent.

Southerwater say this is the start of a new ear with Ian McAulay, Southern Water chief executive adding:

“Water is essential to every aspect of our lives but it is under increasing pressure from population growth and climate change. So water companies have got to work even harder to face these challenges and keep it flowing far into the future whilst delivering the services our customers want and deserve.

Our customers have said they want us to do more to protect the environment and increase biodiversity, that’s why over the next 5 years our ‘Water for Life’ business plan will invest £4 billion into our region, generating jobs and protecting the environment whilst ensuring we keep bills affordable and support those in need.”

Southern Water has currently three key investments being worked on which include a £27.5 million five year phase of the Bathing Water Enhancement Programme which they say has helped to raise 58 out of the region’s 83 bathing waters to the “Excellent” standard.

They are also commissioning £100 million investment in rebuilding the Woolston wastewater treatment works and constructing a £15 million Chichester pipeline to support growth in the region.

Rachel Ryan-Crisp, Southern Water’s Vulnerability Lead, says:

“There are many people out there that don’t even know that these services exist and for an array of reasons whether they struggle to pay or require more support from their supplier. We can assist and offer extra care to a range of people such as those living with long-term illness, disability, the elderly and even new parent or parents with young children. Help us to help you by getting in touch for advice or by spreading the word to friends and family who could benefit.”

More details about our tariff schemes can be found here https://www.southernwater.co.uk/account/help-paying-your-bill

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