Does this look like it’s suitable for disabled access?

With over £14.5 million pounds of your hard earned money being spent ‘regenerating’ Littlehampton’s Pier Road (and surrounding environs) you’d imagine that the least the Project Manager, Peter Borseberry could achieve would be a suitable ramp allowing disabled people enjoy a boat trip in our lovely harbour?

(remember to click on the pictures to blow them up for a closer look)

Disabled Access

Regrettably not. Take a look at the new ‘disabled compliant’ ramp that leads to the pontoons where you can take a charter boat, fishing trip, ferry trip or a scenic tour.

By any stretch of the imagination, I think it would be hard to imagine pushing your loved one up or down this monstrosity let alone doing it on your own.

The Environment Agency dispute this.David Robinson, Operations Manager for The Environment Agency in the South East assured me when we met earlier this week that the above steps are fully compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act.

Disabled access

Here’s the steps from a different angle. These photographs were taken close to ‘low tide’ but the tides at the time of the photographs are on what’s known as ‘neaps’. On Spring tides, the angle will be substantially more acute making the ramp even steeper. Make sure you strap your loved ones in their chairs, say your goodbyes and hope that Mr Robinson and Mr Borseberry have got it right.

Disabled access

This new ramp, which we’ve been assured is fully compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995  is due to open in January 2015.

Disabled access

A long way up even for the fittest amongst us. Remember this ramp will be used by divers and fishermen carrying diving equipment or pushing it in trailers.

Personally, I don’t believe this ramp complies with the requirements or even the Disability Discrimination Act and if does, then the Act needs to be amended.

Apologies, the add comments field is still problematic. Please email your comments or thoughts to pierroad@live.com

Thanks for reading.

Paul

 

Update: Littlehampton Sea Defences, £400,000 Crane Bridge arrives

Littlehampton Sea Defences Crane Bridge 2The massive £400,000 Crane Bridge is currently being installed in Pier Road.

This enormous structure will carry the crane along Pier Road as it drives in each pile.

Littlehampton Sea Defences Crane Bridge 1Environment Agency’s sea defence contractor VolkerStevin appeared to have overcome, what has so far proved the greatest engineering challenge in the construction of  Littlehampton’s Sea Defences by creating this £400,000 crane bridge. You can read more about why the Crane Bridge has been needed here.

The Bridge has been especially created to carry the weight of the Crane along Pier Road while keeping weight off Pier Road by straddling the road and sitting on the piling structures.

Littlehampton Sea Defences Crane Bridge 8Here you can see the new crane bridge in position and being worked on to get it ready.

Once finished the crane will sit on this platform and will work it’s way along Pier Road.

Crane in Pier RoadOnce ready, this crane will be driven onto the Crane Bridge where it will begin the piling works in Pier Road. It’s a challenging job as once each ‘gateway of piles’ are driven in their final home in the river bed, the bridge will then have to be moved forward onto to these piles to begin on the next batch.

Piling gateThis is the ‘piling gate’ which the piles are loaded into before being driven into the ground.

Sea Defence construction Arun Parade 8Piles being driven into the ground, which have been loaded into the piling gate.

As you can see, it’s not an easy, or a quick task and when you see the sheer logistical problems you get an idea as why the project has been delayed so much.

Look and Sea!Littlehampton’s Look and Sea! Centre’s iconic viewpoint framed by the new Crane bridge.

Littlehampton Sea Defences Crane Bridge 6Work underway today (Wednesday, 19th February 2014) on installing the new crane bridge.

Littlehampton Sea Defences Crane Bridge 3The sheer size of this new crane bridge has to been seen in the ‘flesh’ to understand how vast it is. It will be an amazing sight to see the Crane on top of this bridge, and if Littlehampton ever needed a new visitor attraction, then this is it.

VolkerStevin have indicated that they expect Piling works to be completed in Pier Road by May 2014. Only once the piling has been completed can the works begin on the back filling and concreting necessary to create the actual ‘wall’ and capping that will sit both behind and above the piles.

It’s a long, challenging difficult engineering process.

Littlehampton Sea Defence Piling worksMeanwhile piling work continues at the harbour entrance. If you pop up there you can great views of what’s happening as you can in Pier Road.

Come and witness history being made.

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Latest pictures of the construction of Littlehampton’s Sea Defences & last week’s dramatic RNLI Rescue

Some pictures of the ongoing construction of Littlehampton’s Sea Defences.

I took these pictures end of January/first week of February, 2014.

Construction of Littlehampton's sea defences 3The piles are lifted in place using one of two cranes, which are currently in operation in Arun Parade, Littlehampton.

Piling gateThe piles are loaded into a ‘piling gate’ which has been especially designed and constructed for the project. (Picture courtesy of Eric Smethurst  – VolkerStevin)

Construction of Littlehampton's sea defencesEach piles is marked out in metres markers – I believe each pile is 22 metres long.

Construction of Littlehampton's sea defences 4Each pile is then driven into the riverbed by a combination of vibrating it down and then finally banging it into place. The noise you can hear regularly in Littlehampton is the piles being driven into their final positions by the above machine.

Sea Defence construction Arun Parade 8Pile being driven home.

Sea Defence construction Arun Parade 9This picture gives a better view of the piling gate, which also creates a working platform.

Sea defences in Arun Parade LittlehamptonThis is what they look like when they’re all finally in place. The above is a picture of how Arun Parade is looking like now. Some observers has expressed concern that the new sea defences don’t go high enough. When I catch up with Eric next, I’ll ask him for an answer from an engineering perspective. Appearances can be deceptive.

Construction of Littlehampton's sea defences 6This is how Littlehampton’s Arun Parade is shaping up now.

LittlehamptonWorking on the junction of Arun Parade and Pier Road

Construction of Littlehampton Sea Defences 7The piles all in place along the Southern end of Arun Parade.

Sea Defence construction Arun Parade 11Piling at Arun Parade.

Piling works at Arun ParadePiles being driven in at Arun Parade (Littlehampton seafront’s iconic light house in the right of the picture)

littlehampton sea defence construction craneClearly the road surface of Pier Road is not able to take the weight of the crane, which is of particular concern to us here in Pier Road. The vibrations from the piling far exceed what most of us expected. There’s also understandable concern for the integrity of our buildings during these works. Many of Pier Road business owners live above their businesses.

Entrance to Littlehampton harbourTide flowing into Littlehampton harbour. A confused and dangerous sea. This picture was taken just a short time before a lady was swept out to sea. Despite being rescued by Littlehampton RNLI, she passed away later in hospital.

Coastguard helicopterThe Coastguard helicopter flying over Littlehampton Harbour assisting with the rescue.

Air AmbulanceAir Ambulance also attended.

Air Ambulance 2Air Ambulance leaving Littlehampton.

cropped-dscf0234.jpgLittlehampton’s RNLI rescued the lady from the sea, quite literally a few minutes after she first went in. (above is a picture of them on a previous emergency call out). We’re very fortunate here in Littlehampton to have such a dedicated, hardworking local volunteer crew who go out in all weathers and sea conditions.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the lady who passed away.

Littlehampton Sea Defence Works hampered by bad weather, broken machinery leading to ongoing delays

And further delays expected….

Not the best of news, I’m afraid.

The Environment Agency have confirmed that Littlehampton’s Sea defences have already fallen approximately two weeks behind. Andrew Walker from the Environment Agency explained earlier the problems they’ve experienced.

Andrew says: “We have encountered a number of issues on site during the first 4 weeks of construction. Firstly, poor weather and high winds in the first two weeks led to some delay in the building of the crane.

Secondly, we have encountered some problems building the very large steel piling gate which allows us to drive steel piles into the ground. It’s extremely important to get this correct.

Thirdly, the brand new crane which is being used to move the heavy steel for the piling gate and to drive the piles has developed a major mechanical fault.”

So, how will this impact on the end date for the completion of the scheme?

Andrew says: “Whilst we are all working extremely hard to manage and resolve these issues, the combination of these factors has currently occurred a delay in progress in the order of two weeks. We have plans in place to resolve these issues, but at the current time, there is the potential for the duration of the current delays to increase.”

Littlehampton Sea Defences crane workSpecialists are now working on the crane in an attempt to repair it. The major problem described by Andrew is that the engine has seized believed to be caused by a loss of all its oil during operation. Unfortunately, it appears replacing the engine isn’t going to be easy owing to the logistical problems in the relatively small area where the crane operates.

Some better news in that Pier Road’s and Littlehampton’s only and best fresh fish kiosk is now open for business after being swung into it’s new position just opposite the Nelson Public House.

Riverside Fish LittlehamptonRiverside Fish Kiosk is now open again for business and customers today were enjoying buying some of Littlehampton’s freshest fish.

Fish Mongers in LittlehamptonIf you haven’t already sampled the fresh fish from Riverside Fish, pop down and taste the difference between supermarket – factory-farmed fish and the real thing caught off our beautiful shores as well as further afield. Simon (pictured above) is an ex-commercial fisherman and his wealth of knowledge in how to prepare (ask him nicely and he’ll do it for you) and cook fish is second to none.

Understandably, there is a growing sense of frustration and despair amongst traders in Pier Road as we’re looking at a road which is now closed with little or nothing appearing to be going on in it.

Littlehampton Sea DefencesThis picture taken earlier today, Friday, 22nd November shows Pier Road over a month on since the works began and the only apparent difference being the removal of the litter bins and the Fish Kiosk moved to it’s new location.

However, Andrew Walker from the Environment Agency is more reassuring about this saying: “We have built periods of non-productive time, (it’s called ‘float’ in project manager terms) into our programme of works for poor weather. This means we are able to tolerate a certain amount of weather delay and still meet out key dates.”

Another notable development is that the Environment Agency’s Public Drop In Centre is now up and running and is located just above the Oyster Pond (just behind Riverside Fish Kiosk) and is manned by the very amenable Eric Smethurst who is VolkerStevin’s Public Liaison Manager.

Environment Agency Visitor information centre LittlehamptonThe Environment Agency’s Public Drop in Centre is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – 8am to 4pm. Outside of these hours, Eric is not too far away and can usually be found somewhere on site.

The long awaited “Pier Road Open for Business signs” have now gone up at all the major road closed junctions and a special thanks to John Edjvet, Arun District Council’s Regeneration Officer/Town Centre Manager for taking the lead and erecting smaller signs in all of Arun District Council’s seafront notice boards and also for arranging signage to be placed at the Flintstones Centre in Littlehampton Town Centre.

Pier road open for businessJohn Edjvet from Arun District Council’s signage on along Littlehampton promenade.

Finally, please, please remember that Pier Road is open as usual for business and we’d love to see you here. We’re all extremely grateful for those regular customers who have continued to support our businesses during what is a difficult time.

Remember, or if you’re not aware, if you’re visiting Pier Road there is ample free parking in West Green Car Park – this is the car park just outside the Windmill. Look for the signs as you drive in. If you’re coming from the opposite direction to Pier Road – as in from New Road the double lines along Pier Road are seasonal and not currently enforced. You can usually find short term parking along here if you’re visiting Pier Road.

Again, thanks for reading – if you haven’t already make sure you sign up for regular updates on Pier Road Diaries by entering your email in the top right hand corner. Do also follow Pier Road on our twitter account – @Pier_road

And do, please come and visit us.

Finally,  500 Santas are due to visit Littlehampton Seafront all in aid of raising funds for St Barnabas Hospice. The event, the first of it’s kind will be run this Sunday starting at 11am. Competitors can sprint, jog or walk a 3km route (about 2 miles) from Banjo Road Car Park.

If you’d like to be one of the 500 Santas, please visit St Barnabas Hospice Website registration page listed below. If not, make sure you pop along on Sunday morning to cheer them on and help them with their fundraising.

To register visit here.

Last views of Pier Road prior to the Sea Defence work starting.

Taken on Sunday, 20th October 2013.

Pier Road Littlehampton sea defences 2Pier Road LittlehamptonLittlehampton sea defencesPier Road Littlehampton sea defences 1Fish Kiosk Pier RoadFish Kiosk in LittleahamptonPier Road’s popular Fisk Kiosk will remain open throughout the works (as will most of Pier Road businesses), but will be relocated to the other side of the road during the temporary road closures.

Please note that all businesses who open throughout the year, will remain open during the road closures and Arun District Council have provided free parking in the grassed area of the Windmill car park in Arun Parade. This parking has been made available to compensate for lost parking while Arun Parade remains closed during the construction of the sea defences and the new riverside walkway.