Call for Lewes to Kingston cycle path to be saved

The road between the Stanley Turner Ground and Kingston in Lewes. Photo by Vic Ient
The road between the Stanley Turner Ground and Kingston in Lewes. Photo by Vic Ient

A campaigner has issued a fresh plea to protect a cycle path which runs from Lewes to Kingston.

Vic Ient, from Lewes, is calling for the landowners East Sussex County Council and Lewes District Council to help.

J&H Robinson (Iford Farms) wants to access Rise Farm, just off Cockshut Road, via the Stanley Turner Sports Ground and Kingston Road, Lewes.

Iford Farms managing director Ben Taylor said it needed the access for Orange Badge Mobility at Rise Farm, which has the largest disability equipment showroom in the South East.

He added the alternative route along the north side of the bypass via Ham Lane and Mountfield Road had become congested, overgrown and dangerous.

But Mr Ient said: “This whole thing has got into a mess. The gates at either end of the trackway have been removed or broken thus allowing cars and vans to drive along a track restricted to agricultural vehicles only.

“We have the ridiculous situation of the East Sussex County Council Highways Department potentially supporting the opening up of the route for vehicular traffic whilst the East Sussex County Council Rights of Way Department is designating the route for cyclists nd walkers.”

Mr Taylor added: “I would only point out that the alternative route through the tunnel is often flooded in the winter and the tunnel has been closed on several occasions by East Sussex County Council.

“When this happens there is no access to the farm and commercial buildings other than on the route Mr Ient is talking about. Furthermore there are not vast volumes of traffic using the route.

“Mr Ient would have us believe that it is a busy main road, when actually we are only talking about a couple of vehicles an hour, on average.”

In 2013 the cycle route from the Stanley Turner ground to Kingston opened at a cost of more than £200,000.

Local groups have been working to persuade the county council to designate the final link to Lewes as a public right of way.

The county council owns the land alongside the A27 and the district council owns the land through the Stanley Turner Recreation Ground.

The district council will consider the planning application in May. East Sussex Rights of Way access team said the 50 vehicle movements a day suggested regular commercial use and that this would conflict with non motorised public use. The Friends of Lewes and Lewes Town Council have also objected.