MP opens 'Walk for All' footpath in Bramber
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert cut the ribbon to open two footpaths in Bramber on Saturday morning (25 July).
One footpath has created a safe access route along the River Adur for people using prams, pushchairs, buggies and wheelchairs, while a second path has provided a safer alternative to crossing the A283 road.
The footpaths are on the Downs Link, an off-road trail which follows disused railway lines, providing a safe and popular leisure route with access to the South Downs Way and Shoreham.
There are two points on the route where the Downs Link crosses very busy ‘A’ roads, and one of these at Bramber. For many years the crossing has been considered dangerous to use, and a new safe alternative route has been welcomed especially by the disabled, those with young children, and horse riders.
The projects were initiated by the Steyning & District Community Partnership to create a safe and accessible footpath so that more people can enjoy the changing scenes and wildlife alongside the River Adur.
The project received funding from the Department for Transport's ‘Cycle Ambition’ programme, via a bid made by the South Downs National Park Authority. Further funds came from West Sussex County Council, the Big Society’s Members Fund, and Bramber Parish Council.
Edburton Contractors were able to dovetail this project with improvements already being undertaken to the Downs link, spearheaded by the West Sussex Local Access Forum and in conjunction with the South Downs Access Forum.
Tricia Butcher, who led the initiative, said: “Our thanks go to the Passmore family for offering to create an addition to the bridleway over their land to the south of the A283 and the landowner to the north. As a result it has been possible to provide an alternative to crossing this busy stretch of road.”
Martin Leigh-Pollitt, of the Steyning & District Community Partnership, played a central role in bringing the paths to fruition. He thanked all of those who had supported the scheme before leading Mr Herbert and the gathered group on a guided walk along the new route.
They were joined by horse riders, cyclists, young families, mobility scooter users and many of those directly involved with making the project happen.
Mr Leigh-Pollitt said: “There are just so many people to thank - the landowners who facilitated changes, the major funding partners: West Sussex County Council, the South Downs National Park and Bramber Parish Council. The local Council members and their staff, the Environment Agency who all pulled together in funding to improve access both for local residents and visitors alike.
“Areas of the countryside that are fully accessible to young families with pushchairs and those with impaired mobility are limited. We are delighted that this scheme has been made possible in this beautiful area of the countryside, with all the resultant benefits for health and wellbeing.”
Nick Herbert said: "The new paths are already being used and are clearly going to be very popular. It's been a great community effort to get the routes put in, and the opening was a happy occasion.”
- 1. Photograph –Nick Herbert cutting the ribbon, at the junction of the new link path, with many of the supporters who have helped with the projects.