About Pease Pottage

Pease Pottage (sometimes spelt ‘Peas Pottage’) is a small, unspectacular village just south of Crawley in West Sussex.

It stands at the point where the M23 joins the A23, about halfway between London and Brighton, and is just a couple of miles from Nymans Garden, the well–known National Trust property in Handcross.

Traffic Congestion in Pease Pottage

Hundreds of people drive through Pease Pottage every day. Many of them use the village as an alternative to the A264, the bypass which was intended to link Horsham, Crawley and the M23, but which is often unable to cope with the amount of traffic generated by the large number of people who live in Crawley and work in Horsham, and vice versa.

Pease Pottage is blighted by road traffic, especially during the morning rush hour. It is often difficult for residents to get in or out of their own driveways, or even in or out of the village. A collision or roadworks on the A264 or the M23 close to the village invariably leads to a huge traffic jam along Horsham Road.

Expansion of the Village

The heavy everyday traffic is caused not only by commuters who use Horsham Road in Pease Pottage as an alternative to the overcrowded A264 bypass, but also by a substantial recent increase in the population of the village. Several new housing estates have been built in the last decade or so, and the limited amount of public transport means that almost every new house adds one or two cars to the roads.

The most recently completed housing estate occupies the site of the discontinued Fairway Golf Driving Range on Horsham Road. A planning application has been made to extend this housing estate on the north side, on land close to Cottesmore Golf Club. More houses are currently being built immediately to the west of this estate, on the land formerly occupied by the driving range’s offices.

Thakeham Homes

A few years ago, an outfit called Thakeham Homes proposed the building of an unspecified number of houses on the farmland surrounding Woodhurst, the large house once owned by Margot Fonteyn to the south of the village. Permission was not granted for this, but the company did get permission to build just over 600 houses and other buildings on the site of the Pease Pottage Car Boot Sale, close to the busy M23/A23 roundabout. Work began late in 2018, and is expected to continue for several years. There are photographs of the building work in the picture gallery.

Roadworks

Extensive roadworks associated with this project include a dedicated lane from the service station entrance to the A23 southbound, some new traffic lights, and a narrowing of the road width on the bridge into the village. A plan of the roadworks, including start and finish dates for each section, is available as a PDF download (1.6MB). Monthly updates are available at http://peasepottagej11.co.uk/ (some of the information on the website is hidden from users without Javascript).

The work was intended to be finished by the end of 2019, but the latest prediction mentions April 2020. Delays are partly due to bad weather, and partly due to the fact that the contractor, Breheny Civil Engineering, only seems to employ about three people. Work on the bridge into the village, in particular, is very sporadic. The bridge has been neglected for weeks at a time, and the pavement has resembled a lumpy–tarmac’ed, deep–puddled, traffic–cone–infested obstacle course for months.

It remains to be seen whether these roadworks have any long–term effect on traffic congestion in Pease Pottage, since an extra 600 houses is likely to mean that an extra 1000 or so cars will be regularly travelling in and out of the village.

Quote

I took them along the side road which starts from Pease Pottage (and in those days the old inn was there), but before doing so I asked them severally whether they had any curse on them which forbade them to drink ale of a morning.

— Hilaire Belloc, The Four Men: a Farrago

Features

Pease Pottage has, amongst other things:

  • two pubs one pub (now that the Grapes is closed);
  • an internment camp;
  • milk deliveries by Milk & More (formerly Dairy Crest, now owned by Müller; support your local multinational conglomerate!);
  • a very short cycle lane.
  • electricity and running water, but no mains gas (although rumour has it that one of the newer estates does have a mains gas supply). There are plenty of other things Pease Pottage doesn’t have.

Miscellaneous Facts

  • Pease Pottage is just under 500 feet above sea level.
  • The annual London to Brighton veteran car run passes through the village on the first Sunday in November.
  • During the First World War, there was an army camp in Pease Pottage.
  • Queen Victoria came through the village in 1837 on her way to Brighton.
  • The village has a very tenuous link to Marilyn Monroe.