Benches built on 'swirly lines' at council's controversial pedestrianised area

·2-min read
Montague Place in Worthing. Inset, the new parklets which have been installed
Montague Place in Worthing. Inset, the new parklets which have been installed

BENCHES have been installed in the next step to improve a controversial pedestrian area.

The road and parking bays at Montague Place in Worthing were filled and the area was transformed into a pedestrian only zone in April.

The plans received a mixed reaction from people in the town, with some people saying it made the area feel like a “holiday resort” while other people have criticised the removal of disabled parking bays from the road.

Worthing Borough Council installed parklets last week, benches with flower displays incorporated, as a next step in improving the area. Better lighting will also be installed next.

The Argus: The new parklets in Montague Place, Worthing
The Argus: The new parklets in Montague Place, Worthing

The new parklets in Montague Place, Worthing

A council spokeswoman said: "We are in the process of sourcing the planting for the new parklets and planters that have been installed at Montague Place.

“The parklets were recently delivered and will incorporate floral displays as well as provide valuable seating.

“We will update Worthing residents on the planting once the designs are finalised.

The Argus: Montague Place in Worthing
The Argus: Montague Place in Worthing

Montague Place in Worthing

“Street lamp columns and pedestrian lighting is also set to be installed as part of the improvement works.”

The nearly £25,000 painted lines, which were paid for from government high street renovation grants, were put in as part of the council’s plans to offer an “attractive outdoor meeting space” linking the town centre to the seafront.

They were accused of being “intrusive” to the area and took away “the historic character of the listed buildings” – according to heritage group the Worthing Society.

The Argus: The painted lines cost £1,230
The Argus: The painted lines cost £1,230

The painted lines cost £1,230

Sue Belton, the society’s chairwoman, said: “In our opinion, these extensive white lines are over-dominant.

"They detract from the historic character of the listed buildings on the west side of the area, as well as the views of Liverpool Terrace, Liverpool Gardens and the Desert Quartet sculptures which form an integral part of Worthing’s character.”

The temporary measure could become permanently car-free as part of the council’s pledge to go carbon neutral by 2030.

Worthing Borough Council, working with West Sussex County Council (WSCC), will be asking residents and shop owners what they would like to see in Montague Place in the long-term. Work on the permanent new look could begin in 2023.

The council is also regenerating Portland Road and Railway Approach as part of a partnership agreement with WSCC.

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