News

Our visit to Shoreham Port’s public meeting

On 15 May, we went along to Shoreham Port‘s annual public meeting. Many of us cycle through Shoreham Port, as it hosts part of National Cycle Network Route 2 between Hove and Southwick.

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It’s always good to hear what’s going on with the life of the port, and the Shoreham Port team made Clive and Irv very welcome, alongside representatives from residents’ groups, businesses, commercial mariners, leisure boaters, local politicians and others.

For most of the meeting, the topics being discussed were interesting, but not necessarily related to cycling.

However, towards the end of the meeting, a few cycling-related matters did crop up. Here’s a brief summary:

– It is acknowledged that the lock-gates can be very congested with pedestrian/cycle traffic. There is a potential opportunity to change the way people flow over the locks at Southwick, to make things easier and less crowded., but this would be part of a much larger, expensive, plan to widen the main lock, so won’t happen any time soon.

– Some local people do get annoyed when people ride bikes across the lock gates at Southwick. While we don’t want to get drawn into defending the behaviour of individuals, it does seem relevant to acknowledge that this was brought up. We can appreciate people’s annoyance, though we feel that rather than the port’s management focussing solely on prohibition and enforcement, there could be an opportunity to look at the design of the access. (If it was easier and quicker to cross over without breaking or bending rules, would fewer people do so?)

– Rodney Lunn, the boss of Shoreham Port, observed that one option he has thought about might involve keeping NCN2 cyclists to the A259 coast road, rather than Basin Road South. At this point, we spoke out to point out that the A259 really is a dreadful environment for cycling, and that Basin Road South is far preferable. We acknowledged that the HGV drivers visiting the port are – in general – very courteous drivers and we asked Rodney to accept our appreciation of this.

– There was a mention of the numerous developments that are planned for the area long the northern side of Shoreham Harbour, and some concern was voiced about the possible related parking and traffic issues. We feel there’s an opportunity to think boldly here about making decent bike infrastructure part of new developments, rather than assuming an inevitable two-cars-per-household situation.

We’re glad we went along to the meeting. We heard some interesting things, we had some worthwhile conversations, and we’ve decided we’d really like to arrange a more in-depth conversation with Shoreham Port to look at some of the issues that affect cycling through the port.

AREA public meeting – 16 April 2018

Monday night was our first public outing as Shoreham-By-Cycle! Clive, Irv and Alastair went along to the Adur Residents Environmental Action meeting.

There were about 150 people there – many with strong opinions about pollution in Shoreham and the prospect of new building development. (Our opinion on new developments is neutral, but we feel improvements to Shoreham’s cycling environment would be a great thing – with or without new developments.) A panel included key people from The Shoreham Society and Adur Residents Environmental Action, as well as a local representative from Friends of the Earth.

We got the chance to ask a question, so we asked if the panel agreed with us that cycling is currently under-utilised as a way of getting around Shoreham, and if the invited panel had any views on what steps could be put in place to improve the situation.

Sadly, there wasn’t time to get a response from the panel, but the really great thing was the response we got from those present in the room. In a room of around 150 people, there were many words of agreement, and only a couple of heckles of objection!

When the event finished, many people came to speak to us and to ask us about Shoreham-By-Cycle. Thank you to everyone who did.

What we learned:
– There are many people in Shoreham who agree with us that cycling is a great way to get around our town, but it could be better.
– We don’t all agree on the exact details of what needs to change, but we’re happy to share ideas.
– Many people want to stay in touch, and get involved with whatever we do next.

Many of you asked about our website. We don’t currently have one, but when it’s built, we’ll be sure to share its details here.

So thank you, and onward we ride!