So, I am delighted to have joined the Jab Club and had my first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine last Sunday. In and out all within 5 minutes, hardly sat down before the needle went in and it was all over. Didn’t hurt and glad to say that along with most people I have had no side effects since.
The real revelation though is that apparently it is not mandatory to expose most of your chest hair when being vaccinated contrary to the impression given by some of my Parliamentary colleagues providing photographic evidence of their trip to the vaccination centre. As usual thank you to all the clinicians and volunteers for making it such a welcoming and painless experience.
This week West Sussex Highways Department has launched a comprehensive consultation on whether we need a permanent (but greatly improved) version of the Shoreham pop-up cycle lane, and if so what it should look like and where it should go. This follows the comprehensive survey carried out by Shoreham councillor Kevin Boram and I before Christmas which in the end attracted more than 1600 responses, and those responses have fed into this formal consultation.
Unfortunately, the original pop-up lanes were poorly thought out, not helped by an almost complete absence of proper consultation given the Government needed them set up in a hurry. In the case of the one based on Upper Shoreham Road it proved very contentious as it failed properly to accommodate people who needed to park their cars or have access to their driveways. However, many people did agree that a cycle lane would be good in principle if done properly, would certainly benefit young families and children travelling to school and is one of the solutions we need to look at for improving air quality. As a result, many practical suggestions for improvement came out of our survey.
The grand ambition is to link up Shoreham Academy by safe cycle route with the Sir Robert Woodard Academy given how many Shoreham pupils now travel westwards to school. There is the added benefit of a new crossing on the Steyning Road which we know is possible because of the temporary version set up after the Shoreham Air Show tragedy to reach the Old Toll Bridge. It could be used by cyclists, dog walkers and pedestrians alike.
These are just initial ideas which can be turned into a fuller blueprint for further consultation if the support is there and I would urge everyone in Shoreham to have their say. You can find the details on the County Council website at https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/news/help-shape-the-future-of-cycling-and-walking-in-shoreham/ or link through my website.