Southlands by-election: Our questions to the candidates

On Thursday 11 October, there’s a by-election in the Southlands ward of Shoreham by Sea. That’s the area in the north-east Shoreham between Middle Road and Upper Shoreham Road. The successful candidate will be one of Southlands’ representatives on Adur District Council.

Three candidates are standing:

Southlands is a small area, but a busy one, with many houses and flats, and a couple of parks. People travel through Southlands on their way to multiple schools and a huge retail complex. In Southlands, many people make many journeys.

With this is mind, we’re keen to know how the by-election candidates see transport in Southlands, and in Shoreham more generally.

How do they feel about the transport choices people have, and the choices they make? What do they think of the facilities provided to enable people to make healthy, sustainable, considerate transport decisions?

Specifically, here are our questions:

  1. What do you think of the transport choices available to the people of Southlands, and of Shoreham more generally, particularly for short journeys within the town? Are there any improvements you would like to see?
  2. Shoreham Academy, with some 1,500 pupils, attracts large amounts of traffic, disruption and pollution, as many children are delivered and collected by car. How do you feel about this? Can the situation be improved around Shoreham Academy and around other local schools?
  3. The National Cycle Network’s Route 2 passes through Southlands, along Middle Road. Along with other local roads like Hammy Lane, Stoney Lane and Upper Shoreham Road, cycling facilities are poor or absent, driving standards are poor, and speeding is commonplace. Accidents involving vulnerable road users are not uncommon. How should this situation be improved?

We invite the three candidates to respond to these questions, and add any other thoughts they want to share. We’ll share those answers, so voters in Southlands can consider their vote this coming Thursday.

(Candidates: Tell us your responses via email, or via a comment beneath this post, or via our Facebook. We may copy your answers across between platforms, so more people see them.)

Response from Andrew Bradbury, Green Party

“In reply to your questions about transport in Southlands as the Green Party election candidate:
  • “1. Your third question asks about transport around Shoreham Academy, but I want to briefly mention that in first. When out canvassing (on my bicycle by the way!) I have noticed the flows of students walking from the Academy in the afternoon and it occurred to me that each of them represents an element in creating natural walking routes. It’s a small point but I think a valid one that transport infrastructure particularly in a local community like Southlands needs to respond to what people are actually doing or are prevented from doing. Moving around Southlands should be as safe for walkers, cyclists and disability scooter users as is possible. This means reducing the amount of car use for short journeys (which will partly be achieved by making the streets safer anyway) and calming the car speeds and activity. The way roads are structured and join each other is the central point here, together with what mode of transport people automatically reach for any given journey. There needs to be a small number of key routes for cars into and out of the neighbourhood, coinciding with the bus routes as well, with the rest of the network calmed by a combination of speed limits and junctions at which all vehicles must stop.
  • “2. In line with my suggestions above the NCNR2 is a natural route into and out of town for cyclists, walkers and others and should be renamed locally as the Shoreham Way. Communities along that route and organisations such as Shoreham-By-Cycle could be invited to suggest technical enhancements which would make the Shoreham Way fit and safe for multiple types of users with priority given to walking, cycling and people with disability scooters. Greening the route in places with community gardening or signage could also be a fun and healthy traffic calming element.
  • “3. Shoreham Academy is a hub within Southlands and should be seen as integral to the way the community develops. I would like to see more positive work done by the council with the senior staff, parents groups and bus operators to reconsider routes and dropping off points, multiple terminal points on the edges of the area for what motorised journeys to the Academy there are with several ‘protected’ ways about 10 minutes walking time out from hub. The Academy can lead the way as well in further promoting safe and sustainable transport solutions with its students.
“Andrew Bradbury. Green Party.”

Response from Debs Stainforth, Labour Party

“Sustainable transport has been in the hands of the Conservatives for a long time and now with a stronger presence on Adur District Council, our Councillors are in a position to push for change.
So I do need to be realistic about the fact that we are still in a minority, but nonetheless there are tangible projects that we can work on straight away.
  • “1. Lots of people in Southlands love the number 9 bus and many couldn’t manage without it. We also have the 46 which links us with Brighton, Southwick Square, Tesco and Sainsburys. It would be good to get more people out of their cars and on the buses. Bus journeys are hampered especially at school run times by inconsiderate parking, and in the town they are compromised the minute there are road works or an accident on the A259/A27. The cycle links to Tesco are good to a point, but improvements after the roundabout would be helpful and extending the cycle route to Middle Rd to join up with the NCNR along with drawing attention to the cycle route and adding signage and road markings would be beneficial. However it would be useful to point out that the road layouts are governed not by ADC but by WSCC and all of our local Tory County Cllrs appear to be uninterested in maintaining a public presence so making changes could be problematic but not necessarily unachievable.
  • “2. When Shoreham Academy was in the planning stages, local residents were told that all traffic would be on the Kingston Lane side of the site and drop-off and pick-up points would be provided on that side of the site. Concerns of the residents have proved founded as the gridlock that occurs in Stoney Lane is a major problem for public transport and causes obstruction of clear views for safe cycling. There is also the problem of people leaving cars idling whilst waiting, increasing pollution and pavement parking obstructing pedestrians, prams, bikes, pushchairs and mobility scooters. These matters need to be addressed and with the help of local policing teams and parking wardens hopefully this can be stopped, and people encouraged to use the correct waiting points within the SA site itself. There are journey-share options we can look into to reduce traffic to and from schools at drop-off and pick up times, and promote safe cycle use. I worry about the children cycling along Middle Road and negotiating parked cars along Stoney Lane, so there is certainly a need for safe routes and cycle-training.
  • “3. Residents are too confined to cars and cycling and walking could be opened up more via cycle infrastructure as part of long-term building strategy. I will work with my fellow councillors sitting on planning committee to link national and local cycle networks and that cycles, other non-motorised vehicles and their infrastructure are an integral part of any planning application that comes to the committee.  We have the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that in July 2018 states “applications for development should give priority first to pedestrians and cycle movements within the scheme and neighbouring areas “. This is currently not being considered fully by the officers and certainly surrounding road impacts/parking/bike lanes are not considered by WSCC as part of any new developments the NPPF will form part of our argument re: any planning application.
 
“What we are doing locally already: 
“Lobbying for any element of re-investment of parking revenue to subsidise a bus service to run along popular drop off school points and I support this.
Working to lobby for developers s106 infrastructure money (harbour developments) towards a specific cycle path investment into the surrounding Southlands area where possible (ring-fenced), ensuring any potential budget restraints by WSCC can be overcome. I understand that most of the s106 money for the Southlands development went on Buckingham Park, so it is very much our turn next.
Colleagues in Worthing are already supporting a comprehensive walking and cycling strategy via the working group – feeding into the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.
The traffic consultation orders need to work better regarding keep children safe when they cycle/walk to school. Lots of double yellows fail to work, so we need more traffic wardens to penalise poor parking (ensuring a clearer path for walkers/cyclists to the school gates).
We are raising again the cost of employing another traffic warden to enable this.
Colleagues are sat on the Joint Scrutiny Committee looking at gaps in Worthing & Adur’s transport policy. A tangible outcome from that group has already identified areas such as Safer Routes to School and we are actively seeking to ensure that schools have new relationships with organisations who will support them to fully utilise money and grants available to them for the cycle-scheme, for which there is low take-up at the moment.
“We believe an active school led programme will encourage parents to allow their kids to cycle to school.
“What we are doing nationally: The Labour Party’s cycle manifesto is week’s away from being released, and when this comes out I shall be working hard with fellow councillors to ensure this is integrated in structure, planning, road signage, markings and campaigns to get pupils/adults out of cars and walking or cycling.
“What I would do first:
“I’m completing my Masters in Community Psychology presently and my position when I work with community special interest groups is to listen and learn from people who know their subject, and people who would be affected by any changes, and build a strategy for change together. My priority is to meet with local groups who are the expert in their subject and make sure their voices and needs are represented in the Council and shape decisions.”
“Debs Stainforth. Labour Party.”

Author: Clive Andrews

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