Worthing town centre road closures blamed for forcing disabled and less mobile people away

Closure of a major road in Worthing risks locking disabled and less mobile people out of the town centre, a resident has argued.
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Nicola Sheeran, of Warwick Road, said Montague Place was vital for taxis and disabled people driving into the centre of town, particularly her 82-year-old disabled mother.

“My mum’s one treat every week before Covid was to go to Marks and Spencer and do her shopping,” she said.

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“Now she can’t get the taxi up there as she usually would and can’t queue up because she can’t stand for long.”

Montague Place SUS-200630-124340001Montague Place SUS-200630-124340001
Montague Place SUS-200630-124340001

Nicola has been doing her mum’s shopping during the lockdown but, with arthritis in her feet herself, she said she also found getting into town a struggle.

Montague Place has been closed as part of plans to safely reopen the high street and allow for more space for social distancing.

Nicola called the move ‘illogical’, particularly with the pedestrianisation of Portland Road.

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Not only would traders be losing out on customers, she also questioned how delivery trucks would access Montague Street’s stores.

A spokesman for Worthing Borough Council said the closure and measures such as one-way systems and social distancing stencils were in place to make the centre safer and carried out after an assessment with West Sussex County Council.

“These measures, which will be in place for a maximum of 18 months and regularly reviewed, are to ensure social distancing is still possible in tight spaces for pedestrians and cyclists while providing reassurance to visitors emerging from lockdown, all of which supports our local economy,” said the spokesman.

“We recognise there is a small impact on a number of parking bays and ask people to use the wide number of alternatives in this time.”

“Disabled badge holders are permitted to use pay and display bays, limited waiting bays, shared use bays free of charge and without time limit around the town centre.”