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.