DOZY’S RAMBLES: Suspicious smashed panels on the Adur Ferry Bridge

With summer possibly arriving in the next few days, there will be so much to do.

It’s a bit like waiting for a bus for ages then they all come along together.

I have already predicted a total gridlock of traffic and people all around the Shoreham area over the weekend.

It’s a shame there was not more liaison between the groups holding events.

This past week is a perfect example of corporates holding events in a town they know nothing about.

Building firm Taylor Wimpey is proposing to redevelop the Southlands Hospital site – well, what’s left of it.

In order to get feedback from the public they are holding an exhibition at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham. So when are they actually holding this exhibition?

You guessed it, over the weekend of the biggest music festival in the South of England, which is also the same weekend of the Shoreham Fort open days.

Logistically, the chance of getting anywhere near the Ropetackle site and finding somewhere to park, along with 40,000 others (35,000 heading to the airport and a further 5,000 going to the fort), is going to be as easy as flying to the moon!

Maybe Taylor Wimpey doesn’t actually want us to see what they have planned for the site.

I thought it also really nice of the builders to include a map of how to find Ropetackle!

As this exhibition is aimed at locals I would have thought that anyone with even a single brain cell would know the most iconic part of our town.

I have held my tongue long enough over the replacement glass that is about to be fitted to the Adur Ferry Bridge.

Weak and feeble excuses again from West Sussex County Council as to why they are replacing the glass on the bridge costing in excess of £150,000.

Luckily, the council taxpayer will not be footing the bill – this will be down to the company who constructed the lovely feature.

At the original planning meeting for the bridge, it was suggested that CCTV cameras were installed on the bridge and looking at the bridge.

There was a lot of nodding of heads but little else seemed to be happening as the works progressed and then finished.

Guess what – no CCTV cameras.

Yes there was a camera on Coronation Green and this was thought adequate for the safety of both the bridge and public.

For several months, during and after the construction work, the camera was out of action and needed replacing.

Immediately after the grand opening, I wrote in the Herald about the bridge and its ‘unbreakable’ glass.

I think this was possibly taken as an invitation to vandals to test the statement.

Within a couple of days we had the first breakage of glass, followed by several more across the bridge.

At great cost the panels were replaced only to have several more smashed a few days later.

In the meantime, the CCTV camera on Coronation Green was replaced with a limited view across the bridge, maybe half way.

All of a sudden glass panels started to smash again, this time from the beach end, where there was no CCTV.

After discussions with West Sussex County Council, they said it was expensive to fit a camera so they would install a ‘dummy’ one.

All was quiet for a couple of weeks until a panel was smashed near the centre of the span.

Questions were asked about the images gained from the camera on the beach side.

It was then realised that the camera was a dummy and, surprise surprise, panels started to smash again.

West Sussex County Council then installed a proper working camera and since then not a single pane has smashed.

A few months later it was announced that the glass had a flaw in it and they smashed all on their own with no help from human beings.

My question is: why did so many panels smash when there were no cameras present, yet as soon as the bridge is covered properly, the panels stop smashing?

Was the alleged chemical impurity scared of being seen?

Maybe Doctor Who should investigate, as I am not satisfied with the results obtained by the council’s scientific investigators.

• Mike Mendoza’s views about what’s going on in Adur.