COLUMN: Dozy’s Rambles on road issues in Shoreham

Traffic backed up on the Norfolk Bridgge Roundabout due to the queue in High Street ENGSUS00320131126160706
Traffic backed up on the Norfolk Bridgge Roundabout due to the queue in High Street ENGSUS00320131126160706

I came away from the planning meeting of Adur District Council last Monday feeling angry with the highways department of West Sussex County Council.

This was not because we approved the application for a new discount store along the A259, but because of the highways ‘shopping list’ for the section 106 (S106) agreement.

There was a long survey carried out but despite my protestations, the county appears determined to create a bad situation for Shoreham and use part of the S106 money to go towards those ends.

I would welcome readers’ comments on the situation. The proposal is to enlarge the roundabout at the end of the High Street, yes the one next to the Norfolk Bridge, commonly known as Ropetackle Roundabout.

We all know that making the roundabout larger will make it extremely difficult for buses and heavy goods vehicles to get around, but fear not, the county council has thought it all through. They want a compulsory purchase order on the car park of the Bridge pub and the small shop adjoining the car park, in order to make a sweep around to the Norfolk Bridge, meaning three lanes to the roundabout.

I do not claim to be a highways expert, but even I can see three lanes going to a bridge that has only one lane will create quite a bottleneck.

I did point out at a meeting with highways that there are already two lanes at the junction in question, one lane to take you over the bridge, the other to the right to Old Shoreham Road. I thought after my pointing this out that we would hear no more of this crazy suggestion. How wrong could I be?

I have spent a lot of time over the past 15 years around the Shoreham town centre, plus I am the councillor for the area, so my passion and anger is probably a little higher with this.

For me the problem is in fact not High Street itself but either end of High Street. Yes, at peak times the bridge is totally blocked and slow moving and with roadworks along the coast road close to Lancing, the situation is made even worse, but this is not the fault of Shoreham High Street.

If there is a problem in High Street, then this is down to buses and some extremely large trucks using a road that was not built to take such vehicles.

The county council suggested in its initial report that all parking was stopped in High Street, instead using the ‘adequate’ car parks available. I could not possibly repeat my reaction to this report - for starters, the map they produced of the town centre was many years out of date, showing two car parks that no longer exist.

Do they want to totally kill off all trade in the town? I won’t go into many of the other suggestions here, as I hope they have now been kicked into touch, but I fear the worst in light of S106 suggestions made at the planning meeting.