Funding for bike path alongside River Ouse

Ouse valley cycle path - Egret's Way
Ouse valley cycle path - Egret's Way

This is the incredible landscape which cyclists, walkers, mobility scooter users and horse riders could be enjoying soon, thanks to funding for a cycle path running alongside the River Ouse from Piddinghoe to Lewes.

The money has come from the Department of Transport and was given to the South Downs National Park to improve cycling.

The route is part of The Egret’s Way, a network of paths which cycling group the Ouse Valley Cycle Network is hoping to create, with the aim of making travel more sustainable between the Ouse Valley villages, Lewes and Newhaven.

However the route will also create an extra tourist attraction and could become a fun and safe leisure activity for families, creating a gateway to the South Downs National Park. It could also be used to travel to work or school by bike.

The 8.5km route from Lewes to Piddinghoe will receive £621,000 in two phases together with additional funding from East Sussex County Council. Natural England is also putting £117,308 towards the project.

It will also link up with the South Downs Way, the YHA facilities at Southease, and Lewes and Southease rail stations.

Chairman of the Ouse Valley Cycle Network, Neville Harrison, said: “This latest announcement is great news.

“What is wonderful about the Ouse Valley is it is basically on a level so it is ideal for family cycling.”

The surface used on the route will be similar to one used for a cycle path between Falmer and Woodingdean.

The cycle path will be coated in limestone dust and will be suitable for horses, wheelchairs and even road bikes.

This will help it to fit in with the natural landscape around and it will be positioned in a ditch alongside the river.

Planning permission for the cycle path will be sought as soon as possible.

Neville added: “We are very committed to getting people into the national park.

“It has got huge potential as a gateway to the South Downs National Park.

“Once we have completed the main links there are other links we can work on.”

Funding has been announced for the Southease to Rodmell section of the Egret’s Way and the official opening of the Lewes to Kingston cycle path, which forms part of the network, will be taking place in September.