Campaigner for disabled access at Widewater Lagoon would have been ‘overjoyed’ by new bridge

The opening of a new accessible bridge over Lancing’s Widewater Lagoon has been welcomed by the widow of the resident who first campaigned for it to be built.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 5:14 pm
Lynda by the new bridge at the lagoon

Lynda McShane said her late husband Sean would have been ‘overjoyed’ that the bridge can now be enjoyed by people with disabilities, wheelchair users and families with pushchairs.

She said: “It gave me immense pleasure to see both able and disabled walkers using the Widewater ramp and bridge just after it opened on Monday morning. Knowing the whole community now have accessibility.

“My husband Sean would have been overjoyed to think he played a small part in pursuing its construction, had he not passed away before completion.

Sean next to the steps at the old bridge

“The simplicity of the ramp design does credit to the area, as does the bridge.

“Hats off to the guys who worked so tirelessly throughout the winter months so everyone including the disabled, can now enjoy our lovely coastline and wildlife, just a stones throw away.

“Especially after being locked up for weeks on end during Covid.

“I would like to thank Councillor Geoff Patmore who helped and encouraged both Sean and myself in our fight for the disability ramp which started back in 2014, and the councils for finally getting together to raise the funds for the design and construction.”

Sean spent many happy hours at Widewater, doing his daily crossword or enjoying the wildlife.

However this came to a halt once health issues prevented him from walking and he discovered that the steps up to the bridge were not wheelchair-friendly.

He started his campaign for disability access in July 2014, speaking to various councils, and after he passed away in March 2015, Lynda and Mr Patmore took up the cudgel.

The new bridge, which was unveiled last week, has a slope and is made from a special fibreglass material – read more about the bridge here.

The project was funded by Adur District Council and West Sussex County Council using developer contributions, or section 106 monies.

Paula Baker, the acting chairman of World of Widewater, said the local group was ‘absolutely delighted’ to have it open.