AREA Supporters’ Newsletter December 3, 2020

Dear Supporters,

Hoping everyone is well and not too fed up.

UPPER SHOREHAM RD CYCLE LANE –  At a meeting of the West Sussex Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee meeting on November 18  the vote was 6-2 in favour of asking that an earlier decision  by County councillor, Roger Elkins, to close the Upper Shoreham Rd pop up cycle lane be reconsidered. Adur’s Cllr Boram gave a strong presentation in favour of retaining the lane clarifying that it is not perfect and that it would need some improvements. In spite of the number of cyclists using the cycle lane each week (not per day as stated in our last newsletter) having more than doubled from a base of 800 and with no negative effect on traffic flow (based on Council monitoring),  Cllr Elkin has decided that the Shoreham cycle lane is to close.  Council officers are exploring the possibility of a permanent cycle scheme. This lane provides a safer route for all the Shoreham children who cycle to school. Four schools wrote to ask that the temporary cycle lane be kept in place for longer (the temporary nature can last for up to 18 months). The peak times for the number of cyclists were at school opening and closing times. There have been objections from residents of Upper Shoreham Rd over parking and deliveries, but most of these homes have drives capable of holding 2-4 cars. From personal experience, the AREA Chair can assure you that not having to weave in and out of parked cars, one of the most dangerous moves for cyclists, has improved her feeling of safety. Car drivers have commented that they feel safer when passing cyclists It is a pity that discussion on cycle lanes seems to have become a car versus cyclists issue when surely it should be about road safety and the environment.

To make your feelings known about the cycle lane see the Upper Shoreham Rd Covid Pop-Up cycle lane survey: www.timloughton.com/cyclesurvey

A local resident organised a protest ride on Saturday 5th and about 100 cyclists rode along the cycle lane, including a number of children. It was a feature on BBC Southeast  on Saturday night.

This is about more than one cycle lane. It is about changing attitudes in order to help change our environment and deal with climate change.

HORSEY FIELD – At the Northwest corner of the NMF site is 6 acres of land which were included in the Adur Local Plan to be kept as an area of natural biodiversity. 5 acres have been sold to Pathway Development for 55 new homes. There are Tree Protection Orders on a number of cypress trees in the wooded area. Yet we understand that Adur Council are reconsidering this site  as a possibility for development in their revision of the local plan. This is an important site for drainage . Many trees and hedges have already been cut down in the NMF site. Head of Planning, James Appleton, has been contacted twice but no reply has as yet been received. It seems a contradiction that the council has purchased two sites with council money to save them  from development and yet are considering granting permission for the Horsey fields site to be developed contrary to the Local Plan.

DRAINAGE –With New Monks Farm progressing, the Environment Agency is concerned that the volume of water in the sluice by Norfolk Bridge is excessive. Also, water is flowing back into the ditches at high tide which should not be happening.   Conditions on the NMF/Cala homes site have been so soggy that at times work has been halted for health and safety reasons. Now who could have foreseen these problems??

NITROGEN DIOXIDE READINGS  – AREA measured NO2 levels along the stretch of the A27 between the flyover  and Lancing Manor roundabout for 4 weeks in October. All readings were above the legal limit of 40µ/mg/m3 and one reading reached 53µ/mg/m3. This is the stretch of road that many pupils from Shoreham attending Sit Robert Woodard Academy will have to walk or cycle along every school day. Young  people are more susceptible to  the unhealthy effects of air pollution.

THE MEADS PROJECT – Behind Swiss Gardens Primary School off Victoria Rd in Shoreham,  there is a recreation area currently leased to the school. There is a proposal to relay the site with an all-weather surface, a move being opposed for environmental and social reasons.  There is some evidence that artificial turf, because it is made from a variety of petroleum products, some of which are known to be carcinogens,  could lead to negative health impacts. Over time there is evidence that the surface will break down into particles, just as wear and tear on car tires contribute to the levels of particulates in the air.  This area is prone to flooding due to rising ground water which could damage the artificial surface.

Details of the council proposal can be found on www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/the-meads-consultation .

SOME GOOD NEWS – Adur council is planning to purchase  Pad Farm, a 45 acre field north of the A27 and west of the river with plans to turn it into salt marsh to assist flood defences  and encourage biodiversity.

This will, hopefully, be the final newsletter of this unforgettable year.  AREA’s committee wish you all a safe and healthy Christmas break with hopes for a quick roll out of the vaccine. We thank you heartily for your support. If there are any issues you are concerned about or interested in please feel free to contact us.

SEASONS GREETINGS

AREA Committee –  Barb, Geoff, Chrissie, Gerard, Bill, Alan, Peter, Jenny

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