Latest Update Littlehampton Flood Defences

First of all, apologies for not updating the blog for some time.

There have been a number of reasons for this, which I don’t intend to dwell on in this update. Just to say, a big thank you to all those who’ve popped in to see me in my shop in Pier Road and say how much they miss the regular blog updates.

Also to wish, Eric Smethurst who was the scheme’s Public Liaison manager continued recovery, following an illness, which forced him to leave the project last Autumn.

Here’s the latest update based on information provided to traders in Pier Road by the Environment Agency, West Sussex Highways Authority and Arun District Council.

The Flood Defence Wall is now completed

The Environment Agency have confirmed that the building of the Pier Road and Arun Parade’s Flood Defence wall is now complete. Work continues on finishing the public realm works. While these works are being undertaken by the Environment Agency’s contractors, and the project managed by the Environment Agency, the funding for the public realm is the  responsibility of Arun District Council and Littlehampton Harbour Board.

When should the public realm works be finished?

Hopefully these works should be finished in January. At the moment, Pier Road is a hive of activity with various sub-contractors completing the works. It’s not easy for them working in what are extremely cold, windy and wet conditions.

In any event, we’ve been assured that the public realm works in Pier Road will be finished this month, January 2015.

What’s happening with Pier Road – the road that is?

This is now the most frequent question we get asked in Pier Road – what is happening the road itself.

Many believe Pier Road will be pedestrianised, which is not the case.

Neither will Pier Road be re-instated as a one-way traffic flow.

Pier road will re-open as it was before – a two-way traffic flow, but will be significantly narrower at two points. This being the bend outside the door of our shop (Coastal Cycles) and the junction with Arun Parade outside the Nelson public house.

Many of us wanted a one-way traffic flow with traffic calming measures. However, this won’t be the case. Instead we’re getting a revisit to the ‘old Pier Road’ which many will remember for its traffic chaos, particularly during the high season.

The obvious advantages of turning Pier Road into a one-way traffic flow would have been it would continue the one-way traffic flow already in operation in the town centre and provide further riverside parking areas and with adequate traffic calming measures, could slow the traffic down making it safer and easier to cross.

So when will Pier Road open?

The current schedule is as follows:

  • 19th January 2015 – West Sussex County Council Highways contractors move into Pier Road to begin works to re-instate the road. This will include widening the pavements outside our shop (Coastal Cycles) and resurfacing the road ready for re-opening
  • These works are estimated to take between 4-6, perhaps even 8 weeks.
  • The current schedule is that Pier Road and Arun Parade will be open in time for Easter.

What’s happening with the budget?

Difficult to say, really.

The original financial figures stated the scheme would cost £14.5million and original forecasts were that it would all be completed in six months.

Worth remembering that Pier Road was closed to traffic on the 21st October 2013 and still remains closed.

As for the budget, when the Flood Defence Minister, Dan Rogerson visited Littlehampton’s Flood defence scheme works in December, it was announced that the scheme was now costing £22.1m. So we can only assume that the scheme is £7m over budget.

So essentially a year behind and £7million over-budget .

I will leave the last word to Flood Defence Minister, Dan Rogerson:

“I’m very pleased at how the project is coming along.”

Dan Rogerson, Flood Defence Minister.

December 2014

 

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As always, thank you for reading.

Paul Power

 

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