Plaque unveiled in memory of campaigner at official opening of new Lancing bridge

The official opening of the new accessible bridge at Lancing’s Widewater Lagoon took place on Sunday (August 15).

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 10:48 am
Updated Thursday, 19th August 2021, 2:55 pm

Sean McShane, who passed away in 2015, started campaigning back in 2014 for the bridge to become accessible.

Local residents including his wife Lynda, Geoff Patmore of West Beach Residents Association, and community conservation group, World of Widewater, carried on the campaign in his memory.

Sean spent many happy hours at Widewater, doing his daily crossword or enjoying the wildlife.

Sean McShane's wife, Lynda, unveiling a plaque in memory of Sean and alll of his hard work towards campaigning for an accessible bridge at Lancing's Widewater Lagoon. Photo by David Hoggen

However this came to a halt once health issues prevented him from walking and he discovered that the steps up to the bridge were not wheelchair-friendly.

The old timber bridge had stairs leading up to it meaning it was not easily accessible for people with pushchairs or those dependent on wheelchairs.

Frank Fletcher, 74, a member of the World of Widewater committee, said: “There was a major breakthrough in 2016; West Sussex County Council (WSCC) agreed to access for all and held public consultations and developed plans to include a new bridge.

“In 2020, Adur District Council (ADC) and WSCC combined and finally completed new access for all and the new bridge was delivered in 2021.

Plaque unveiled at Lancing's Widewater Lagoon in memory of Sean Mcshane and his hard work campaigning for an accessible bridge. Photo by David Hoggen

“Without Sean’s tenacity this access for all to Widewater Lagoon Nature Reserve would not have happened.”

The campaign resulted in a new bridge which has a slope and is made of special fibreglass material.

This means that the new bridge will not need re-painting and the material will not rot.

Sean’s wife, Lynda, unveiled a plaque commemorating him and his work towards the bridge.

Many local residents joined to see the official opening of the accessible bridge at Lancing's Widewater Lagoon, and commemorate the unveiling of the plaque in Sean McShane's memory. Photo by David Hoggen

Frank, in memory of Sean, said: “Sean would have loved that – the grey, the mizzle, the sun, the wind and the spirit of community coming together.”

Sean's wife, Lynda, with local residents who joined to see the official opening of the accessible bridge at Lancing's Widewater Lagoon, and commemorate the unveiling of the plaque in Sean's memory. Photo by David Hoggen