Man calls for beach hut relocation after wife hit by cyclist

A man whose wife was injured by a cyclist on the seafront has called for beach huts to be moved to improve pedestrian safety.

Wednesday, 27th July 2016, 3:43 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 1:22 am
Patrick St. John-Caleb in Brighton Road. He wants the beach huts opposite to be moved to widen the pavement

Patrick St. John-Caleb has been campaigning for safety improvements on the stretch of the National Cycle Network Two cycle path, that runs parallel to Brighton Road, ever since his wife Shirley’s accident in August 2013.

He met with West Sussex County Council in June, and it has said it agreed to install two warning signs on either side of the pedestrian crossing, ‘reinforcing the message to cyclists that “pedestrians have priority”’.

But Mr St. John-Caleb, 69, has criticised the council for acting too slowly in putting them up. He said: “It’s like banging your head against a brick wall; you don’t get anywhere. It’s a nightmare to deal with them.”

He said that to make a real difference to pedestrian safety, the pavement needs to be widened – and the only way to do that, in his opinion, would be to move a few of the huts .

“One day another accident will happen, and then maybe the council will do something, but I want to keep the issue in the public eye.

“If they could just move one beach hut to make a bit more space, it would give pedestrians room to move if a cyclist comes along.”

In response, a county council spokesperson said it would ‘not be undertaking any significant works here unless it is requested and selected as a highways improvement scheme or identified as part of the recent members’ cycling task and finish group’.

They added that ‘there have been no further accidents at this location since Mr St. John-Caleb’s wife’s incident and that it was ‘a challenging junction due to the limits of the highway’.

Mrs St. John-Caleb, 68, was crossing Brighton Road to get to the bus stop on Worthing seafront, opposite Brooklands Pleasure Park, when she was hit by a cyclist.

She fell into the road and sustained head injuries but has since recovered – although she is still ‘very nervous’ when crossing roads, said Mr St. John-Caleb.

In response to the council, he said: “I’m just trying to make life easier for pedestrians, I’m not trying to stir up the hornet’s nest.

“I’m looking at it logically. There will be another accident.”

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