Investigating an upgrade for ‘rough and muddy’ footpath

Bad state: 'Footpath 51' in Lewes
Bad state: 'Footpath 51' in Lewes

Lewes Town Council has agreed to help with research into providing a proper surface for a well-used footpath in Malling.

Councillors were told at their meeting on Thursday last week that ‘Footpath 51’ is the 180-metre cut-through between Spences Lane and South Downs Road around the western perimeter of the Malling Brooks Industrial Estate.

It provides the only pedestrian route into town on the long stretch between Orchard Road and Blake’s Walk, hence the regular use.  

The path is flat, but the surface is particularly rough and often muddy and unusable for those with mobility issues or using pushchairs.

It is periodically laid with bits of carpet and hard-core to make it passable by residents seeking to maintain this useful link between a large residential area and the centre of town.

The state of the path has been brought to the attention of East Sussex County Council, which has confirmed that it is registered on the definitive map of Public Rights of Way and that it has recently added it to the list of paths to be improved – but lack of resources and the path being low on the list of priorities mean it is unlikely to happen any time soon, and certainly not without someone else contributing to the cost.

Town councillors have agreed to request a proper cost evaluation by the county council’s engineers, and to look into sources of funding to assist the project.

The state of the path has been brought to the attention of Bridge Ward councillors on numerous occasions. A local resident has thoroughly documented its condition and raised the issue with East Sussex County Council.