Monday, 30 December 2013

Sustainable Transport

Ford Railway Station, under used asset?.
I am writing this report at the beginning of December, but by the time you read this it will be the end of December, so I hope you had a good Christmas and I wish you all a prosperous New year.

I am in the process of setting up a new flight business at Ford (Loloflights.co.uk) and interestingly Arun comes in the top five for new business start-ups, so Arun should have a bright economic future once we get a few infrastructure issues sorted.  My Broadband at home is so slow, but at Ford Airfield my business has fibre optic and what takes me time to make a cup of tea at home happens in seconds at Ford. 

I have been pushing for a date from West Sussex County Council regarding the roll out of Broadband and specifically the upgrading of the Arundel Exchange to Fibre Optic.  I have not yet got a date for the Arundel Exchange, but all the rural roll out should be completed by early 2016.

Whilst we wait for the various government studies and civil service machinery to come up with the Arundel By-Pass, we need to boost other infrastructure,  Broadband will make a huge economic difference to the area, but also we need to use the assets we already have better.

I have been pushing to use Ford station as  a new transport hub, there is room for a car park and there could be high speed services from Ford to London, if trains only stopped at Horsham, Gatwick, East Croydon and Clapham Junction you should be able to shave the journey time down to 1hr 10 minutes.  If the car park was free, I believe it would be a great incentive to get people off the road and on to rail.  

Network Rail in their  regular negative approach have said that Ford doesn’t justify a new Car Park, but they have just created some hard core for maintenance at the crossing and this could easily and cheaply be turned into a car park.  If we could then build the cycleway from Ford Station to Arundel and also in the other direction to the A259 cycleway then we not only underpin sustainable transport for commuters, we also create something to support tourism. 

There is already a new cycleway planned that will go from Arundel Station to the Arundel wildfowl centre that will start construction in the New Year, Mike De Lara the ex Chairman of the Arundel Community Partnership has been the principle driver behind this.  I have been supporting this and Mike has managed to get generous support from the Arundel estate as well as from the West Sussex County Council and the Highways Agency.  But also I hear that due to government funding that there may be hire bikes provided at Arundel Station along the lines of Boris bikes in London.  This will truly start to make Arundel a cycling centre which will help build our health and prosperity, a good thought for the new year. .
Until next month, Paul Dendle is Arundel Ward & Cabinet Member on Arun District Council and can be contacted at his email Pauldendle@aol.com  

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