Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Now where were we?

Well, hello again. Lovely to see you.

It's been ages, about 6 months actually, and I'm still pursuing my dream.  Sadly what seemed like a straight forward pursuit has morphed into a game of kiss chase and my quarry is an Olympic sprinter, but I'll get there.

Now, Shoreham has been a hive of activity since we last met. East Street has been fully pedestrianised, the Beach Broadwalk has been opened, Peter Huxtable has retired as Coxswain of the Shoreham Lifeboat, and we've got a cat.  All big news stories, but I'm going to focus on the current hot topic, the Broadwalk.

The Boardwalk is a plastic walkway that runs along the top of the beach and links the concrete path from the top of Ferry Road to the concrete path at the top of Shingle Road.  It was opened on 27th December 2011 by Alison Lapper and has been built to allow the disabled, the elderly, those with buggies and anyone with difficulty walking, greater access to the beach.

Now when I say, "links" I'm telling a white lie because there is no link.  Instead there is a wapping great gap in the middle because the owner of a bungalow has allegedly objected to the Broadwalk on the grounds of lack of consultation. Thus we really have two Broadwalks, one which runs from the top of Ferry Road to the start of the bungalow's boundary, and the other which starts from the end of their boundary and ends at the top of Shingle Road.

The net effect of this is that the disabled, the elderly, parents with buggies and anyone with difficulty walking, now have limited access to the beach. At the gap, wheelchair users have to return from whence they came; those with buggies have to drag the buggies over the shingle to reach the other side; those with difficulty walking have to ask their companions for help or turn back. The rest of us can do a sharp eyes left/right and stare at the bungalow as we stomp past. Ironic really as it's a holiday let.

Granted this issue should have been resolved before the Broadwalk was built but then, how do you consult with people who, allegedly, think we only want access to that part of the beach because we have "foreshore envy?" Then again, perhaps I would feel aggrieved if I had paid an over-inflated price for my beachside residence.

Well, this is going to rumble on and in the meantime, we'll just keep on using both Broadwalks and see whether or not the objection is just a fig leaf covering a load of balls.

Well, it's nice to be back. Have a very Happy New Year and see you next week.


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