Lewes 52 – a new bridleway
The new BW is on a route that was the first official cycle route in Lewes, from the Stanley Turner Sports Ground, Kingston to Southover High Street. It is on land alongside the A27, residue from when the “new” A27 was built.
Although in the past it was fairly well used by horse riders coming from the south and east of Lewes to the South Downs, it is not much ridden at the moment.
In 2014 the Kingston Road Residents Association had sought agreement from ESCC to designate it as a bridleway, principally to enable gates to be erected to stop use by traffic.
The status of the route was undetermined and, as well as small amount of local use for access, was now being used by heavy vehicles from Rise Farm at which there are several industrial units. Attempts to gate the route had failed as the gates were vandalised. ESCC started the process of dedication.
The farm then made an application (Feb 2015) to legalise their use of the lane to avoid a lengthier road route (removal of a condition of the original approval for farm diversification which precluded them using this route!).
There were a huge number of objections as the route was much used for leisure purposes, was narrow and there would be no way of preventing other vehicles from using it. It would easily become a rat run.
MSABG also submitted an objection. The adjoining bridleway Lewes 3 was to be part of the route applied for by the farm Also it links the roadside path along Kingston Road with the Egrets Way section that will run alongside the River Ouse, both of which, if landowner objections could be overcome, would be great to ride.
The application was refused on safety grounds and that it contravened 5 local plan policies and National Planning Policy Framework provisions.
On 4th Nov ESCC recorded the cycle route as bridleway Lewes 52. BW status stops at the water works but we are assured that the final stretch from here to Kingston Road is adopted and thus already has public access. The on-line map does not however show it as such.