PAUL O’BRIEN: Worthing seafront could be transformed if bus station move happens

Paul O'Brien
Paul O'Brien

One thing I love to do before the working day starts, and especially in this weather, is to take a brisk walk around our beautiful pier.

This will generally involve watching the early morning fishermen, having a natter with Phil Ducket, owner of the Southern Pavilion, and taking in some of our invaluable sea air.

Whilst most people like to gaze out into the channel and dream of lands far away, it’s also extremely refreshing to look back at our coastal line and the varying buildings along it.

From the stunning Edwardian architecture of our Dome Cinema, to the amazing noughties-built shine of the brand new swimming pool, whose copper is now turning a slow vivid green, we have buildings covering vast periods of time.

Some we can celebrate – the frontings of the Steyne and Warnes building in particular – and some which we could do with hiding – no prizes for guessing the bowling alley car park for that one!

But if you look closer we also have this fantastic under used space between the bustling bars and restaurants.

A prime peace of potential seafront retail space where, currently, the bus station sits.

I’m sure you have read in previous weeks that the council have begun tentative talks with Stagecoach to move the bus transit area to Decoy Farm in East Worthing.

This could transform this hidden gem into an incredible new area for our growing town of mixed use development.

It’s all just a pin prick of an idea at present, but could you imagine a bustling indoor food hall, a fish market coming straight off our daily boat catches, small trading spaces for independent business and so much more.

You only have to take a walk down to the newly-transformed London Road open market in Brighton to see the potential this area has.

On another note it has been a solemn week for Worthing with the extremely sad news of the death of Donald Lock in Findon.

Whilst I didn’t know Mr Lock personally, the thousands of messages which have been left show that this was one of Worthing’s nicest, most loved residents.

Whilst it’s early, there have been suggestions of a permanent tribute, a rather fitting metal bike statue of some sort.

This is something we should fully get behind as a town, and make sure the council push through on the idea too.

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