Walkers - we want our footpath back

With reference toPeter Seed’s letter (November 16), he is quite right, it is time to re open the footpath 12a on the cliff top at Telscombe. The walk up from Saltdean on the cliff top path to Peacehaven is spoilt; when you reach the Telscombe Tye area of the cliff top, the way is blocked at the eastern end of the Portobello site. The gate in the wire fencing was taken away.

The panoramic channel views from the Telscombe Tye cliff top are stunning. In spring and summer the wild flowers are beautiful; this is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Many, many people worked very hard to get this cliff top into the South Downs National Park. The Saltdean Swimmers together with Telscombe Town Council, the Friends of the Tye, plus hundreds of local people who sent letters, succeeded in getting this area of the cliff top into the protection of our National Park.

But the joy of this walk is lost because you are forced to walk along the pavement alongside Portobello with buses roaring up the hill only inches from your feet. The pollution from the traffic on this busy A259 gets trapped where the road drops down to what is now called Smugglers Rest, formerly known as Badgers Watch.

You cannot avoid inhaling the fumes. Diesel fumes have recently been recognised as being carcinogenic. The walk loses its attraction.

People want their footpath back. They really care about this area. So come on Southern Water, it is payback time. The people of Telscombe have suffered the pong of the sewage works for years and years. The swimmers at Saltdean have had sewage in the sea and sewage detritus on the beach. Hopefully, these problems will soon be a thing of the past.

As well as the footpath there are other things that need addressing too. The new brick and flint wall at Portobello looks good but the electrical substation with its peeling paint is still a disgrace and in need of attention. The substation is not in sympathy with the adjacent South Downs National Park and the old listed building of Badgers Watch. The beautiful sea pinks bloom in May and cover the ground around the steps down to Telscombe Beach; they are generally missed by the walkers because of the footpath closure higher up. Telscombe beach itself, when it loses the aged sewage works, will become more attractive. The beach needs attention.

Angela Hopwood