Worthing town centre regeneration: Next stage of project revealed

The finishing touches to a regeneration project in Worthing Town Centre will be added in the coming weeks.

Adur and Worthing Councils said an 'array of colourful plants and shrubs', as well as decorative street lighting and new seating areas are 'set to brighten up' Montague Place.

Budgets totalling £363,000 were set aside for Worthing Borough Council's 'ambitious scheme' to transform Montague Place into a pedestrianised area, linking the town centre and the seafront.

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"The finishing touches to the temporary scheme will be made over the coming weeks while Worthing Borough Council gears up to start consulting with local businesses and residents over the long-term plan for the pedestrianised zone," a councils spokesperson said.

An 'array of colourful plants and shrubs', as well as decorative street lighting and new seating areas are 'set to brighten up' Montague Place. Photo: Adur and Worthing Councils

"Linking the seafront to the town centre, the new temporary phase one public realm is set to include flowers and trees to complement the new seating areas and modern lighting that will offer visitors an attractive outdoor meeting space."

However, not apparent in the designs were the unusual, squiggly lines, which have appeared in Montague Place. The lines have faced backlash from residents, with some claiming it is a 'waste of money' and 'makes my eyes hurt'. Click here to read more

A council spokesperson said: "In addition, the continental-style painted ‘squiggly lines’ on the tarmac are inspired by cities like Copenhagen and designed to brighten up the naturally dark tarmac as part of the project that has been funded by central government.

"The east side of Montague Place will be utilised for cultural events, pop-up markets and community events, while businesses on the west of the public realm now have an inviting open space to accommodate al fresco customers."

Budgets totalling £363,000 were set aside for Worthing Borough Council's 'ambitious scheme' to transform Montague Place into a pedestrianised area, linking the town centre and the seafront. Photo: Adur and Worthing Councils

The councils said the area will also eventually be equipped with a Gigabit Citizen WiFi, 'allowing free access to ultra-fast public broadband services'.

They said making the area permanently car-free will help reduce carbon emissions as the council 'continues its pledge to go carbon neutral by 2030'.

The spokesperson added: “We wanted to transform Montague Place and provide residents, businesses, shoppers and visitors with an inviting landscaped open space that can be used for a variety of things - whether meeting up with friends for a coffee or something to eat at one of the many excellent eateries, relaxing in the sun or visiting one of the events that will be held over the summer.

“The new planters and flowers will really add some colour, while the new lighting and seating areas will make a perfect meeting place that is car-free and more aesthetically pleasing for everyone.

The council said the continental-style painted ‘squiggly lines’ on the tarmac, which have faced backlash from residents, are inspired by cities like Copenhagen and 'designed to brighten up the naturally dark tarmac'. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

“Initially this is a temporary project and we are preparing an engagement exercise to understand what people want to see in the long term to benefit this wonderful area of the town centre.”

As part of the scheme, the borough council said it worked with West Sussex County Council to draw up permanent plans to ‘relocate and enhance’ the blue badge and general parking provision in the area.

The traffic regulation order covering this scheme (WOR9019MM) caused uproar amongst disabled people, who felt there minimal ‘safe’ spaces to unload equipment, or even a person in a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV), safely.

The councils said: "The disabled parking spaces that were temporarily relocated to Marine Parade outside Marks & Spencer have now been made permanent, whilst new disabled bays have also been installed in the Montague Quarter car park.

"The loading bays at the seafront end of Montague Place will remain in place for business use."

Worthing Borough Council, working with West Sussex County Council, will be asking residents and traders what they would like to see in Montague Place in the long-term.

Work on the permanent new look could begin in 2023. Portland Road and Railway Approach is also being regenerated as part of a partnership agreement with the county council.

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