Last Saturday, 24 January, saw a good turnout and a lively discussion lasting the whole morning for the Missing Link workshop staged by the Friends of the South Downs and SCATE in East Sussex at the White Hart in Lewes. Representatives of many organisations were present including Mid Sussex Bridleways Access Group, British Horse Society, Cycle Lewes , Cycle Seahaven, Friends of Lewes, Cycling UK, Sustrans West Sussex, Transport Action Network, Adur and Worthing Cycling, Friends of the Earth, Lewes Living Streets and Bespoke Cycling Eastbourne. It was also good to see councillors present from Lewes District and Lewes Town Council and cycling shops such as Mr Cycles Seaford.
On top of the surveys already received from organisations and members of the public during the autumn of 2019 another 20 more locations were identified for possible improvements. These locations will be combined into a schedule and once the workshop in Hampshire has been held the results will be presented to the South Downs National Park.
Once locations have been assessed and mapped it is hoped that campaigning organisations, parish, district and county councils can use the data to help apply for grants to complete some of these missing links. Obviously the highways authorities would have to approve any improvements. However, we are hoping that with the South Downs National Park backing that the ultimate list of identified locations will gain support more easily than multiple ‘ad hoc’ proposals being put forward.