Calls for Newhaven Port Access Road to be opened for pedestrians and cyclists

Newhaven’s Port Acess Road should be opened up for use by pedestrians and cyclists immediately, according to Green Party campaigners.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 11:20 am
Emily O'Brien, Lewes District Green Party Councillor

They say local families want to use the £23m road, which has been closed to the public since it was completed during the winter, for exercise and for accessing Tide Mills beach.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said it would open for cyclists and pedestrians in the early summer, once a ‘sufficient amount’ of work is completed on the construction of a new link road, which started yesterday.

But campaigners are calling for it to open now.

Emily O’Brien, a Lewes District Green Party Councillor and former chairman of local group Community Action Newhaven, which campaigned against the road, said: “I don’t see why we should have to wait for the trucks to arrive before we’re allowed to use it.

“They could be using this lovely stretch of brand new road in a really creative way.

“I think it’s really outrageous that they are not opening it up.”

She pointed out that the business case put forward by the council for spending public money on the road had emphasised its benefit for the community and for sustainable transport.

“This road was built with £23 million of our money,” she said.

“Yet when local people could be making use of this empty space for walking, cycling, and recreation at a time when families are struggling with lockdown and the closure of normal activities, the Conservative controlled county council has bolted the gates.

“I am calling on East Sussex County Council to open up immediately.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “The position remains, as we have advised the local councillor, the Newhaven Port Access Road will be open to cyclists and pedestrians in the early summer.

“In the meantime the Port Authority are constructing a link road from the end of the recently constructed access road as well as a new entrance barrier into the port.

“Once a sufficient amount of this work is complete, the existing public rights of way will be diverted to their new alignment and access will then be possible from the Newhaven Port Access Road to Tide Mills and the beach for pedestrians and cyclists.

“In the meantime pedestrian access to Tide Mills and the beach is still possible via the pedestrian footbridge over the railway and from Tide Mills car park.”

Work started on creating the new link road on Monday.

Once finished, it will enable all HGV traffic to enter and leave the East Quay Port site using the new access road – read more here.