Wishing you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas from Pier Road, Littehampton.

Sadly as I write this final post for 2016, Pier Road’s Mooring’s Tea rooms has closed its doors, with proprietors, mother and daughter Kay and Hannah, heading to Cornwall for a well-earned rest.

There’s no doubt that this has been a very tough year for small independent businesses everywhere. We’re especially lucky here in Littlehampton to have such loyal customers who visit Pier Road and Littlehampton’s town centre and support our network of local shopkeepers (myself included) and restaurant owners.

May I take this opportunity to thank you all for your custom and support and beg of you to continue supporting your local small businesses, wherever you may be.

At times it’s difficult to see how town centres can survive given the fierce competition from online retailers, supermarkets and super-supermarkets that we now have in abundance in Littlehampton – pretty much located on every one of the four corners leading into our lovely seaside town.

Yet, despite it all, there’s a real feeling of positiveness amongst the local business owners that I speak to and on this positive note, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and every good fortune for the New Year.

If you’re spirit’s a bit broken or perhaps you’ve lost faith in the spirit of human nature, may I invite to you take a moment to listen to Kaylee Rogers, 10 years of age from Killard House School in Ireland singing with her classmates their own beautiful and haunting rendition of my favourite all time singer, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

Kaylee who is autistic and ADHD has in 3-years gone from a girl who wouldn’t speak in front of her classmates to a powerful solo vocalist.


As always, thanks for reading, your comments welcome.

 

Safety concerns grow in Littlehampton Harbour

Arun District Council’s recently completed new rirverside walkway in Littlehampton is giving rise to serious concerns regarding safety regarding the durability of the walkway’s new safety rail.

When these safety rails were being installed, a local resident in Pier Road who has some degree of experience and expertise with these type railings expressed his concerns regarding their installation. These concerns were dismissed by the Environment Agency’s Project management team and Arun District Council.

Since then the safety railings have continually come loose and the contractors returning on a number of occasions to fix them. Local residents have also voiced concern in the Littlehampton Gazette regarding the potential dangers posed by these railings, particularly risks to children.

SONY DSC

As you can see in the above picture the top two rails have come loose. I spoke to a lady earlier today who said she and others witnessed a 4-yr old boy climb on these railings and somehow  they came undone while he was climbing on them. This she  reported this to Arun District Council to be told that it wasn’t their problem and they weren’t going to repair it as it was the responsibility of the Environment Agency.

Littlehampton harbourThe initial remedy to the safety problem was for someone to come along from one of the authorities and wind some red and white tape around the broken rail while leaving the dangerous gap exposed.

As a week had passed and no one had come to fix the railings, the lady who runs a business in Pier Road contacted the Environment Agency  to see if they were actually going to fix the problem. More especially as we’re approaching August Bank Holiday weekend.

The Environment Agency’s initial response to her was to say that the matter had nothing to do with them, but was the responsibility of Arun District Council.

It was after this ridiculous reply from both Arun District Council and the Environment Agency that I tweeted both parties. You can see the tweets and the replies by following the Pier Road twitter feed.

The power of twitter should never be underestimated and the Environment Agency replied via twitter saying they would get a local crew to look into it.

A few minutes later my lady received another telephone call from the Environment Agency saying they would now get someone out to deal with the problem.

And it’s not just one railing that has failed.

Littlehampton HarbourEvidence of further failings of the safety railing. I understand that this has been like this for a number of days and has gone ignored by the authorities despite their being advised of the problem.

Littlehampton harbourAnother area where the safety railing has gone completely.

Littlehampton harbour

Another area on the top of the walkway over the river where the safety railing has proved defective.

Littlehampton harbourHere again the railing has failed.

This isn’t the first instances of this railing failing. These safety railings have continually failed since the walkway was opened in April 2015. Looks very much like Pier Road’s resident who voiced concerns that these railings were being installed incorrectly was right all along and the highly paid experts from the authorities were wrong.

Both Arun District Council and the Environment Agency should treat failures in these railings with the seriousness it deserves. Children and adults climb on these railings to either get a better view or a better vantage for crabbing.

Yes, adults should supervise their children and ensure they don’t climb on these railings, but they do and will continue to do so as this is human nature.

We need to be assured by the Environment Agency and Arun District Council that the repairs that will be undertaken now permanent and these railings will fail yet again in another couple of week’s time.

Somehow I doubt we’ll get these assurances, but let’s hope we get the problem fixed once and for all.

Update:

On Monday morning, Environment Agency’s Contractor Marshalls have attended Pier Road to repair the broken safety rails.

 

As always, thanks for reading, your comments are always welcome below.

Paul

 

Latest Update Littlehampton Flood Defences

First of all, apologies for not updating the blog for some time.

There have been a number of reasons for this, which I don’t intend to dwell on in this update. Just to say, a big thank you to all those who’ve popped in to see me in my shop in Pier Road and say how much they miss the regular blog updates.

Also to wish, Eric Smethurst who was the scheme’s Public Liaison manager continued recovery, following an illness, which forced him to leave the project last Autumn.

Here’s the latest update based on information provided to traders in Pier Road by the Environment Agency, West Sussex Highways Authority and Arun District Council.

The Flood Defence Wall is now completed

The Environment Agency have confirmed that the building of the Pier Road and Arun Parade’s Flood Defence wall is now complete. Work continues on finishing the public realm works. While these works are being undertaken by the Environment Agency’s contractors, and the project managed by the Environment Agency, the funding for the public realm is the  responsibility of Arun District Council and Littlehampton Harbour Board.

When should the public realm works be finished?

Hopefully these works should be finished in January. At the moment, Pier Road is a hive of activity with various sub-contractors completing the works. It’s not easy for them working in what are extremely cold, windy and wet conditions.

In any event, we’ve been assured that the public realm works in Pier Road will be finished this month, January 2015.

What’s happening with Pier Road – the road that is?

This is now the most frequent question we get asked in Pier Road – what is happening the road itself.

Many believe Pier Road will be pedestrianised, which is not the case.

Neither will Pier Road be re-instated as a one-way traffic flow.

Pier road will re-open as it was before – a two-way traffic flow, but will be significantly narrower at two points. This being the bend outside the door of our shop (Coastal Cycles) and the junction with Arun Parade outside the Nelson public house.

Many of us wanted a one-way traffic flow with traffic calming measures. However, this won’t be the case. Instead we’re getting a revisit to the ‘old Pier Road’ which many will remember for its traffic chaos, particularly during the high season.

The obvious advantages of turning Pier Road into a one-way traffic flow would have been it would continue the one-way traffic flow already in operation in the town centre and provide further riverside parking areas and with adequate traffic calming measures, could slow the traffic down making it safer and easier to cross.

So when will Pier Road open?

The current schedule is as follows:

  • 19th January 2015 – West Sussex County Council Highways contractors move into Pier Road to begin works to re-instate the road. This will include widening the pavements outside our shop (Coastal Cycles) and resurfacing the road ready for re-opening
  • These works are estimated to take between 4-6, perhaps even 8 weeks.
  • The current schedule is that Pier Road and Arun Parade will be open in time for Easter.

What’s happening with the budget?

Difficult to say, really.

The original financial figures stated the scheme would cost £14.5million and original forecasts were that it would all be completed in six months.

Worth remembering that Pier Road was closed to traffic on the 21st October 2013 and still remains closed.

As for the budget, when the Flood Defence Minister, Dan Rogerson visited Littlehampton’s Flood defence scheme works in December, it was announced that the scheme was now costing £22.1m. So we can only assume that the scheme is £7m over budget.

So essentially a year behind and £7million over-budget .

I will leave the last word to Flood Defence Minister, Dan Rogerson:

“I’m very pleased at how the project is coming along.”

Dan Rogerson, Flood Defence Minister.

December 2014

 

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As always, thank you for reading.

Paul Power