Work begins on river Ouse cyclepath between Rodmell and Southease

Work started in Southease on Egret Way
Work started in Southease on Egret Way

An exciting scheme to build a cycle path along the banks of the river Ouse between Rodmell and Southease is now underway.

Eventually it will form part of a cyclepath running from Lewes to Newhaven, making commuting by bike safer and providing a tourist attraction.

It will also mean walkers and horse riders will be able to avoid the busy C7 road and enjoy the beautiful landscape of the South Downs National Park.

Chairman of the Ouse Valley Cycle Network, Neville Harrison, said: “It’s very exciting to see this work on another section of the Egrets Way underway.

“We believe that, in time, if further negotiations and funding bids are successful, people will use the completed network every day to get to schools, the shops, rail stations or visiting friends and that it will also become a real attraction for visitors who want to explore this beautiful part of the South Downs National Park.”

Work on this next stage of the Egrets Way began at the end of January and it will open in spring 2014.

It will link Rodmell and the South Downs Way National Trail at Southease Bridge.

The first stage of the link between Lewes and Newhaven was the section from Lewes to Kingston.

It was completed last year and, according to the South Downs National Park Authority, is already proving popular.

Allison Thorpe, who leads on Access and Recreation for the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “The Egrets Way will be easy to get to by train so offers local people and visitors the opportunity to discover another way to get out and explore the South Downs without their cars.

“Local pubs, farm shops, cafes and visitor attractions will hopefully also all benefit from the new route.”

The project is backed by local parish councils and landowners as well as many individuals, district and county councillors and businesses.

It also has support from organisations including Sustrans, the Environment Agency, the South Downs Society, YHA South Downs, the National Trust, the British Horse Society, Cycle Seahaven, Cycle East Sussex, The Mid-Sussex Area Bridleways Group, and Disabled Ramblers.

The Egrets Way has been selected as one of eleven routes in the National Park to benefit from a £5m partnership investment to improve cycling across the South Downs.

This includes £3.81m funding from the Department for Transport’s Linking Communities fund and additional funding from Local Authorities and other groups.