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Help us complete that Missing Link!

We need your input – creating a more accessible road network in the National Park

Help us complete that Missing Link!  Do you know of a missing road link that is deterring you from walking or cycling in the National Park? If you do read on……….

The Friends of the South Downs (South Downs Society), along with organisations such as CPRE Sussex, Transport Action Network and the Sussex Wildlife Trust support an alliance which aims to persuade local councils, the National Park and the Government to develop safe and sustainable transport as well as better land use in planning. This organisation is titled: SCATE (South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment).  

Click this image to go to the 2015 report ‘Roads in the South Downs’by the SDNPA

The Friends of the South Downs and SCATE held a very positive meeting with the National Park Authority in the early autumn about the need to promote safe and sustainable transport within and to the Park. The Park echoed our concerns and were enthusiastic about our idea that a survey should be made of road routes that need action to provide for sustainable transport; primarily for cycling, but can include walking (crossing major roads), bus routes and links to train stations.  With the help of volunteers our Society and SCATE will draw up a target list of routes that need attention. When complete we will then present this to the Park Authority who have agreed to create an official map. This can then be used as a basis for negotiating with councils and government to obtain the necessary investment.  It will also be useful to help guide investment via a ‘Section 106 agreement’ and ‘Community Infrastructure Levy’. In this later phase we will continue to work with the National Park to achieve change where we can. We hope also the survey will also contribute to the ongoing work related to the South Downs National Park Partnership Management Plan and to an update to the Park’s Roads in the National Park document.

The Friends of the South Downs  have agreed to coordinate the survey information. So if you know of a missing link that is deterring you, or is very unpleasant or dangerous to use, please let us know (you can tell us about as many as you like).  For example, if you live in Lewes you might want to nominate the A273 going out of Lewes through Offham – it’s a fast and busy road and a barrier to people cycling out to Hamsey, or the quiet lanes around Cooksbridge.

Please email Vic Ient our Policy Officer via our Enquires email address:  with your suggestions.  Chris Todd of Transport Action Network is leading the campaign. You can also contact him on

Please name the road and specify the section where you feel something needs to be done.  If possible say what the main issues are and what would make it feel safer and more pleasant to use the route: suggestions could include:

  • segregated cycle lanes
  • off-road cycle track
  • lower speed limit
  • green lane implementation (changing the feel of the road to one where walking and cycling are to be expected)
  • better road crossing (walkers, horse riders and cycists)
  • any other suggestions you have

If you feel a particular location or road should have a bus service (and isn’t currently served) let us know about it and any other infrastructure needed, such as bus stops.  If a place is currently served by bus but poorly and needs improvements, let us know where these are too and what could be improved. Finally, any trains stations which need better links to the National Park – what deters you or others from using them?

Many thanks in advance – please share with others who might have suggestions and maybe quiz people who drive too to get a sense of what stops them from leaving their car at home.

We hope this initial survey will be completed by the end of January 2020.


12 thoughts on “Help us complete that Missing Link!

  1. The problem is lack of parking for horseboxes and general access to South downs for riders

    1. Dear Valerie, If you have any specific suggestions please do email them in via:

  2. The Battlefield Walk in Hampshire starts at the Hinton Arms pub and passes the National Trust property towards a left turn off to continue the walk. This first, quite short, part of the walk is extremely dangerous as it goes along the busy A272.

    1. Hi Jan, Thank you. Good information. We take it that the location is just below No, 10 on the NT map:

  3. South Downs National Park full of historic drove and bridleways yet apparently horse riders only deserve a mention in crossing roads?
    You could include horse riders in all proposed improvements- not treat them like second or third class citizens! Please address this. Thank you.

    1. Julie, Thanks you. Apologies for our oversight. Fully agree with you. If you are not already a member please join us and help us cover all users. Your expertise would be very welcome!

  4. I do get annoyed that there is not a more “joined” up path system. I also get annoyed because the emphasis seems to be on pedestrians and bikes. What about the oldest users of droveways and bridlepaths, horses. It is beyond believe that some bridlepaths start coming off a main road (where there is no parking for trailers) and where no-one would want to end up at on a horse, not being able to carry on anywhere. Then there are the bridleways that suddenly turn into footpaths and again, you can’t carry on without negotiating a busy main road to continue

    Can we have an all inclusive pathway system that allows EVERYONE to use it/them and that make a continuous journey?

    1. Dear Cate Agreed about the path system. Agreed about provision for Horses. Apologies for our oversight – the post should have included horseriders. If you are not already a member please join us and help us cover all users. Your expertise would be very welcome!

  5. Is it possible to revise the crossing of Ditchling Road from the Upper Lodges car park? On a horse it is impossible both to see and negotiate the gate in either direction and extremely bad if there is more than one rider.
    There is an alternative via the car park entrance, across the road, with a clearer sight of traffic and then via the gate set well back from the road. The crossing is not marked as a bridlepath for either users or traffic. Making access around the north of Brighton opens up vast circular routes for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

    1. Dear Gill, Good suggestion! Can you send use a sketch re Ditching of your proposal? It would help greatly. My email address is:

  6. Ditchling Road/Ditchling Beacon is heavily used by both leisure and commuter cyclists (not me) and owing to the excess speeds of motorists is dangerous. I have been told that it is not possible to downgrade the de-restricted speed owing to no houses being visible! The limit one end is 40mph and the other 30mph! A dedicated, well surfaced (for road bike riders) cycle path away from cars would make it safe for everyone.

    1. Dear Gill, The County Council can be somewhat intransigent on changing speed limits. Cars speeding on country roads is a problem. Again please send us a sketch if you can. my email address is:

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