Slipway closed due to safety fears
The owners of a Shoreham Beach slipway which was shut two years ago while flood defence work took place have kept it closed to the public due to concerns over its safety.
The Emerald Quay Freeholders Group, which owns the land and is responsiblefortheslipway,has refused to take back control of it – though the Environment Agency has said it is safe.
Mark Sharp, director and chairman of the Emerald Quay Freeholders Group, said the Environment Agency had told them the tidal wall flood defence work would involve replacing the slipway with a ‘like for like’ model.
But Mr Sharp said several ‘technical adjustments’ were made – such as increasing the gradient of the slipway which had made it ‘very steep’. The newconcretesurfaceprovided ‘little or no grip’ for vehicles pulling trailers, he said, while a new speed bump limited the type of vessel that can use it.
Mr Sharp said of the slipway: “It’s an accident waiting to happen in our opinion. Once it’s handed over, we are responsible.”
Going forward, he said he wanted evidence and was planning to request an independent public risk assessment before the slipway waspassedover.“Wejustneed to be satisfied that we are not putting the public at risk,” he said.
An Environment Agency spokesmansaidassessmentsof riskandpublicsafetyhadtaken placeduringthedesignprocess andduringconstructionofthe slipway.
The spokesman said ‘noone raised concerns’ about safety or the alterations to the slipway during the two-yearconsultation period.
The ramp’s new designs were ‘not unusual’, the spokesman said, adding: “We