One of my photos

Further On Up The Road

August 16th, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

On Thursday Jayne went into hospital for a few hours as an out-patient to have some work done on her hip.  It was supposed to be urgent, but she had it postponed until the school holidays so she would not have to take any time off work – not something I would have done I have to admit.  Unfortunately she had to go to East Surrey Hospital instead of Crawley Hospital.

Now I don’t have anything against East Surrey Hospital, although I prefer hospitals to be built upwards and not designed as low, sprawling campuses, but it is a bugger to get to from here.  We are only about 100 metres from the motorway so the first bit is easy: straight up the M23 to Gatwick.  After that it gets a bit nasty because you have the A23 and that stretch of the A23 is hardly what you expect from an ‘A’ road: single-carriageway, with 40mph speed limits on most of it.

In fact the accessibility of East Surrey Hospital and how long it would take an ambulance to get there from Crawley or Horsham is one of the main planks of the argument to build a new hospital here.  The irony is that the hospital is located in a place which could potentially have fantastic transport links. It is a mere 100 metres from the railway line and less than 3km from the M23 – but there is no railway station or motorway junction.

While a new hospital is always going to be welcome, it is not likely to happen while there are so many arguments about it. For a start there is no support from MPs, councillors or the public in East Surrey or Mid-Sussex for a new hospital in the Crawley/Horsham area, in fact they are dead against it.  While all those arguments are going on, why not look into a motorway junction?

Ideally there would be a full-blown junction with a direct spur road to the hospital, but a cheaper solution should be possible – a silly half-junction like the Maidenbower one with the access only from the South.  You could link it to Green Lane and upgrade that road a bit instead of having a whole new one.  Even cheaper would be to have an ambulance-only exit like they have those works exits, but that wouldn’t help visitors or people going to hospital under their own steam.

A basic, functional junction could be built really quickly, would cut journey times by anything from ten to thirty minutes, and it would still be worth having even if a new hospital gets built here because there would still be transfers between hospitals. or is that too easy?   There must be a catch.

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