Call for A281 bridge to be named after young cyclist killed on charity ride
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More than 60 people gathered at the spot beside the A281 at Rudgwick on Saturday for a memorial event for student Pathushan Sutharsan who died in a crash with a lorry during a charity cycle ride two years ago.
Local residents joined Pathushan’s family – along with campaigners who have long been urging for a bridge to be built at the Downs Link crossing.
Close family friend Paul Sathianesan spoke movingly of Pathushan’s life, a talented young artist who had wanted to do good in the world.
He said Pathushan “has given his life. My humble request is please name it as ‘Pathushan’s bridge’. That will be his legacy.
“Let us come together to protect another life. If he had been here, he would have been at the forefront of the campaign.”
Other members of Pathushan’s family, including his mother and father, his sister and two brothers – as well as many of his friends – attended the memorial and brought along photographs and examples of his artwork.
Pathushan’s cousin spoke of him studying architecture and said that it would be appropriate to see a bridge built in his memory: “Something he never got a chance to do.”
West Sussex County Councillor Sean McDonald spoke in support of a bridge and of a need to find funding.
Horsham District councillors Ruth Fletcher and Mike Croker also attended, along with David Buckley, chairman of Rudgwick Parish Council.
Hilary Jubert and Francis Vernon represented the Bridge the Downs Link campaign.
Earlier in the day Horsham MP Jeremy Quin met with Hilary at the crossing and reaffirmed his support for a bridge.
The campaigners have been battling for years to get West Sussex County Council to build the bridge over the A281 at a point where the busy road splits the Downs Link path in two at Rudgwick.
However, a feasibility study commissioned by the county council concluded that building the bridge would cost around £2 million and was considered ‘uneconomic.’
Instead, it proposed that a Pegasus crossing - a signalised pedestrian crossing - should be installed.
But the bridge campaigners have vowed not to give up their campaign.