Newhaven port needs vital upgrade

AS a user of the ferry service I do agree with your correspondent Henry Page that the riverside townscape at Newhaven needs to be brought into the 21st century.

It needs to be upgraded and made attractive to visitors and provide a pleasant quayside environment for the locals, but please remember that it needs its essential port facilities to be brought up to date as well. I saw the Arrowcroft developer’s presentation and liked aspects of it but I was shocked to see that they were not interested in Newhaven as a port.

They had no thoughts about better docking, no idea that the water is now too shallow to allow the ferry in at low tide and absolutely no idea what the link bridge is. This little blue bridge, as Newhaven residents know, is the vital link which is attached to the arriving ferry to allow the vehicles to drive off. It was built in 1966 and has had no serious upgrading since. It can only be used by one lorry at a time, so the unloading time in Newhaven is often over an hour. If we had a link bridge like the Dieppe one and an improved port, then a longer ferry could come in and the crossing time reduced from 4 to 2 and a half hours. That would encourage better use of the rail service, better road access and would attract investment to bring Newhaven back to its former importance as a key channel port. A vastly improved quayside would follow. The developer chosen by Lewes District Council should be one that understands a working port, not just one who wants to concentrate on supermarkets and houses.

Peter Baker, Lewes