Swift action on A259 is needed says Newhaven MP Norman Baker

South Coast Road, Newhaven.
South Coast Road, Newhaven.

Work should start quickly on a shared footpath and cycle path between Newhaven and Peacehaven, MP Norman Baker has said.

He welcomed East Sussex County Council’s plans to improve pedestrian and cycle access between the towns, but pointed out people had been fighting for this for years.

The county council said the cycle and pedestrian route would be completed by March next year.

Mr Baker said: “Improvements to safety and access for cyclists and pedestrians travelling between Peacehaven and Newhaven are long overdue.

“A long section of the A259 has been separated off due to road subsidence and I have continually called upon the county council to do some basic work to make this ready made channel into a cycle path.

To have these works included in the capital programme plans is a small victory for those of us that have been fighting for this over the years.

“The council now needs to make sure we lose no more time.”

The county council has included the shared cycle and pedestrian way along the A259 as part of its capital programme for transport improvements 2014/15, following a public consultation.

A county council spokesman said: “The proposal for a combined footway and cycleway on the existing footway northern side of the A259 between Peacehaven and Newhaven met with very strong approval in the public consultation held last year and we’re happy to be able to take this forward.

“The work is part of a programme of improvements, including upgrades to bus stops and pedestrian crossing facilities, which will make this stretch of the A259 a safer, more pleasant environment for cyclists, pedestrians and bus passengers.

“The new cycle and pedestrian route will be completed by March next year and we hope to be able to introduce further improvements along the A259 in future financial years.”

Improvements proposed by the county council as part of the A259 upgrade include new and improved pedestrian crossings along the A259 in Peacehaven, improved bus stops along the A259 and new cycling facilities in Newhaven.

Another proposal from the county council is building a new bicycle ramp on the steps leading up to Seahaven Academy.

The proposals will be paid for by the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.