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.

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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

 

The Miracle of Littlehampton Harbour

Littlehampton Harbour and river is the only harbour in the world to have intelligent water.

The EA’s sea defence proposals only include building on one side of the harbour and river, this being the East Side.

Therefore, full credit must be given to the Environment Agency for working out that the water flowing in and out of Littlehampton harbour via the river mouth will know which side to rise up on (East Side) and which side to avoid (West Side).

After all it would be crying shame if given the £13 million spend on sea defences that the water took it upon itself to flood the side where the Environment Agency haven’t carried out any sea defences.

I mean could you imagine for a moment the red faces at the Environment Agency where in between having to chase off out-of-season fishing men, collecting fishing rod licence fees and consulting tiresome local business owners, the EA were to realise that that everywhere else in the world, water rises on both sides of rivers and harbours. And that as they haven’t as much as provided a token rubber hose in their plans for the West Side of the river and harbour that this side will now be more prone to flooding.

Rest easy dear reader, I’ve no doubt that with the combined great engineering might of the EA Project Team and their expensive consulting engineers at Halcrow, that this potential flaw in their proposed plans hasn’t been addressed.

In fact, there can only be one explanation for this phenomenon:

That Littlehampton river and harbour is the subject of a miracle where we have the only intelligent sea water in the world that can independently discriminate on which side of the river/habour it should rise on so as not to make the Environment Agency and their engineers look silly.

To be fair, a similar thing happened before in biblical times.

Littlehampton Sea defences

Of course, now that we have intelligent water  running through Littlehampton harbour, we can look forward to a bright and prosperous future where given time we could become the next Lourdes, or at a push, Knock in Ireland.

Where we will be welcoming busloads of tired, weary and hungry pilgrims who have come to pay special homage to Littlehampton harbour to witness for themselves this intelligent water.

Littlehampton Sea Defence Miracle

WEEK 5:  INTELLIGENT WATER DISCOVERED IN LITTLEHAMPTON HARBOUR.

Of course, it could be (dare I say it, but I feel I must..) that the Environment Agency haven’t discovered intelligent water in Littlehampton harbour and that their efforts to enhance the East Bank Sea Defences will have a disastrous and potentially fatal effect on the mostly unprotected East Side of the River..

I’m not an engineer but I’d imagine that if you built out and up one side of a fast flowing river bank without making any provision on the other side that this activity would have a deferential effect on the unprotected side?

Some of us with a bit of experience of previous government initiatives, particularly in times of recession, will appreciate the perils of State-led, target driven capital expenditure projects and will dismiss the idea that this is a miracle.

I’d expect disbelievers will face being ostracised as being ‘negative thinkers’ and labelled ‘troublemakers’ finding themselves being denied invites to consultation meetings with all their death-by-powerpoint presentations, dry biscuits and urn coffee and misleading information.

If I were either a resident or business owner located on the West Side of Littlehampton harbour or river, I’d be pretty worried about the increasingly serious risk of getting wet feet and seeing my home and business disappear as one part of the Littlehampton town is pitted against the other as sea levels continue to rise.

Environment Agency Sea DefencesAbove is a picture of the entrance to Littlehampton Harbour taken during Spring Tides. As you can see, the water is almost at footpath level. Now look across the river at the other side where the river is already flooding over the existing sea defences. The Environment Agency Sea Defence Plans – cost circa £13 million will not include any work to the other side.

I don’t think you need to be an engineer, coastal or otherwise, to work out that by dramatically building out the existing wall, and significantly increasing its height, these actions will have an equally dramatic effect on the other side.

LittlehamptonYou can see from the above picture that the East Side (right hand side) is already significantly higher than the West Side. If you look again at the picture above this one, you’ll see that the area where the two people are walking is flooded. The size of the area that’s flooded is quite remarkable.

I going to question why £13 million of tax payers money is being spent to build a wall on one side, and nothing on the other?

I asked this question previously at a consultation meeting with the EA Project Team and Arun District Council Officers back in the Autumn of 2012. We were assured by the Project Manager that there was no problem with this arrangement, and we were promised to be shown some mock-ups of how the water would flow. Talk of University students and mock-ups in tanks followed. But of course, to-date we’ve been shown nothing.

Time will tell, of course, whose right.

But I cannot see how building a wall on one of side of what is now regarded as the UK’s fastest flowing river without taking any remedial action to the other side, could be classified as sea defences, unless of course, you disregard the West Side completely as being unworthy of being defended or this is a simply another government project to build out way of recession.

No more building roads and houses. The former is too anti the ‘green’ agenda. The latter too reminiscent of greedy developers and banks, so instead let’s build some walls on one side of the river at a whopping great cost of £13 million and call it sea defences.

A bit like going out wearing only one shoe..

Littlehampton Pier Road returns to normal.

27th October, 2012.

As promised by the Environment Agency, they have completed their initial exploratory works in time for the arrival of half-term and Pier Road and its surrounding environs are now free from any road works.

What was apparent during the recent road works was the problems with traffic management.

As you can see in the above picture, courtesy of Andy Cooper of the Beach Hut, Littlehampton, the Northbound Carriageway has been closed to vehicular traffic to allow exploratory work to be undertaken.

Quite sensibly, as part of the traffic management plan, parking was suspended opposite and just ahead of the road closure to allow traffic flow past the vehicles that were already stopped waiting at the temporary traffic lights.

It’s fairly straight forward and simple, or at least, you’d imagine it would be. But what happened in reality was a significant number of drivers ignored the ‘No Parking’ notices and parked there at the junction outside 47 Mussel Row, which lead to traffic chaos as they blocked the path of oncoming traffic.

Even the local police, Sussex Police got caught in the ensuing chaos caused by the motorist parked up ahead who has blocked traffic flow by ignoring the temporary parking suspension notices.  (Photo courtesy of Andy Cooper, Beach Hut, Pier Road).

As you can see, entrance in and out of Clifden Road is also blocked, which caused even more choas than usual.

When Arun District Council were phoned to dispatch traffic wardens or CSOs or whatever it is they’re called now, two promptly arrived only to tell us that there was nothing they could do as they temporary traffic regulations were unenforceable!

The solution was for a number of traffic cones to be laid along Pier Road where the offending motorists are parked in the above picture.

The reaction of the illegal/inconsiderate parkers/motorists was to remove the traffic cones from the road and place them on the pavement and then park there oblivious or unconcerned as they brought Pier Road to a standstill.