Re-surfacing in East Sussex is ruining country lanes for cyclists

East Sussex County Council prides itself on being cycling-friendly encouraging everyone to get on their bike.

However, ESCC seems determined to thoroughly ruin its quiet lanes and minor roads with its appalling chip-seal resurfacing.

This county possesses some of the best lanes for cycling, but so many of these smooth grey roads, which are perfect for riding, are being systematically resurfaced for no good reason. Previously enjoyable lanes are now being coated with rough chippings, which are not only highly unsuitable for cycling, but dangerous too.

Excessive vibration and high friction force cyclists to seek out smoother main roads (where we’d rather not be) while large quantities of surplus chippings, remaining in the centre and at the edges of these lanes, are potentially lethal if ridden upon.

ESCC deserves the highest commendation for recently resurfacing Sandhill Lane at Halland, which is beautifully smooth black Tarmac.

This is safe, comfortable and pure enjoyment for cycling. Compare this to Moor Lane near Ringmer, which until recently had a perfectly-good, smooth grey surface, but was chipsealed a couple of years ago and consequently is now one to avoid.

This summer, Hundred Acre Lane near Wivelsfield was also resurfaced by ESCC, but with smooth black Tarmac, a superb surface making it safe and enjoyable for a road bike. However, this week we found Streat Lane near Ditchling once a pleasurable route for Sussex cyclists has been ruined with chipseal.

The wonderful byway over Ashdown Forest between Nutley and Duddleswell, as well as the quiet lane between Hamsey and Barcombe are other recent victims, whereby it seems to us that Cllr Carl Maynard and ESCC highways department are resolutely determined to carry on needlessly coating our lanes with this awful material.

If East Sussex and its adminstration is genuinely serious about encouraging cycling, then please have a thorough rethink and start using smooth black Tarmac in place of this cheap-skate and ruinous chipseal.

Brian Hart and David Nunn


James Benning