Pier Road Past and Present

Pier Road, Littlehampton.

What a terrific picture we managed to source on ebay.

Not sure when it was taken, but we believe circa early 1900s. If anyone knows differently, please let us know.

Pier Road, Littlehampton

Pier Road, Littlehampton

You can see our Dutch Bike Shop down at the far right hand side.We believe at this time our shop was a boathouse for fisherman’s boats to repair and service boats and  fishing nets.

In the background of this part of the picture, you can see our shop, The Dutch Bike Shop, which we believe at the time was used as a boathouse.

What’s notable in this picture is that most of the buildings in Pier Road are actually fisherman’s cottages. Note also that most of the buildings are single story. Later, we believe after the second World War the buildings were purchased by a builder who turned them into restaurants ground floor with accommodation above. Above you can see the single story fishermen cottages. The tall two story building in the left is home to Mussel Row, Restaurant today.

Above is the Wharf area in Pier Road. You can just about make out the steam ship moored alongside the wharf. A number of these operated from Littlehampton during this period.

The Wharf as it is today following Arun District Council’s regeneration programme in early 2000.

Another notable feature in the picture is the sloping beach area leading down to the river where the boats are moored. There’s no road at all, but everything pretty much on the same plane/surface.

Pier Road Littlehampton

Below the same area as it is today.

Above picture is how Pier Road is now.

Modern Pier Road as it is now.

Pier Road as it was then pretty  much prior to the arrival of widespread use of motor cars.

Above, Pier road, the future proposed vision created by Arun District Council.

Ironic in many ways that many of Arun District’s Councillors are so keen to pedestrianise Pier Road. Yet this is the same Council who insisted on doing away with the fisherman’s wharf and replacing the same with a road, which they now want to get rid of in favour of making it a walkway again.

Are we going backwards or forwards?

Work begins!

A positive and product meeting.

Following the pre-planned Pier Road Traders meeting with representatives from the Environment Agency and Arun District Council, we were pleased that the originally works planned to begin on the 3rd September 2012 have now been postponed until the first week in October. This taking in concerns that partially closing Pier Road to vehicular traffic and closing off the river-side footpath would cause too much disruption during September, which is traditionally a very busy month for the road.

So it was agreed that the first exploratory drilling would take place in Arun Parade, with the works and associated disruption to Pier Road due to take place in October.

Today, Thursday 18th September 201, exploratory drilling works begins in Arun Parade with the first bore hole being bored by the EA’s contractor, Furgo UK.

Drilling in Arun Parade Littlehampton

Once the results of the exploratory drilling are available, work will then begin on the actual design of the Sea Defences. At our meeting, the EA outlined a preliminary timetable as follows:

September/October – 2012 – exploratory drilling work and analysis of the same.

November – Once the EA and their Contractors know exactly what lies beneath the sea following the drilling, the actual design of the Sea Defence will take place. So at this stage, there isn’t a finished design of what the actual sea defences will look like.

While no actual date to carry out the building of the  sea defences has been set at this early stage, it’s anticipated that works will commence Autumn 2013 with the project, including the enhancement of Pier Road and the new walkways etc being completed by Spring 2014.

Undoubtedly, these works will change the future of Littlehampton’s Seafront Sea defences for generations to come and hopefully bring about a whole new regeneration for Pier Road and it’s environs.

What did come out of our meeting, which is both a worry and a disappointment is that Arun District Council do not have a final plan for their enhancements to Pier Road. While understandably the Environment Agency cannot complete their underwater design of the sea defence  until the results of the exploratory drilling are known, they stressed that the above ground area would remain the same, regardless.

But, Arun District Council, despite spending money on Consultants/designers fees, public workshops, stakeholder’s workshops, have yet to actually come up with a final design, or even decide about future parking and traffic flow arrangements for Pier Road, which I find worrying.

What follows is a number of pictures of the first bore hole from the yellow mark in the road, to the actual installation of the Drilling equipment.

First mark for the first bore hole, Arun Parade Littlehampton

Erection of the safety fencing

Environment Agency signage describing the works

Drilling equipment now in place

Sea Defences work in Littlehampton Harbour