Exceat Bridge – £5 million bridge but NO improvement for cycling, walking and horse riders

Yet again East Sussex County Council (ESCC) have ignored the needs of cyclist walkers and horse riders. They have put forward a planning application to the National Park for the construction of a £5 million bridge in the beautiful Cuckmere Valley which will only serve to ruin the landscape view and bringing additional road traffic and pollution to the National Park. Many people have said they are happy with the traffic lights solution which is currently in operation on a temporary basis. National Cycle Route No2 runs through the area but they have chosen development the project which ignores it!

It could be that the planning application is considered at the next SDNPA Planning Committee meeting on the 12th August. The application has been submitted to the South Downs National Park under reference: SDNP/21/02342/FUL

Just go to https://planningpublicaccess.southdowns.gov.uk/online-applications/ and put in the above number using the simple search function. You can give your comments online or email: Planning planning@southdowns.gov.uk

Don’t be fooled by the wording in the description of the application – there appears to be no actual traffic calming** measures between the Seven Sisters Country Park and Seaford apart from a short 30 mph section which will be very difficult to enforce without speed cameras . Also, how can you improve the habit of wildlife by sinking piling into the river and building concrete buttresses? The words ‘Restore agricultural’ seems at odd with the admission in ESSC own report that 74 sq meters of saltmarsh will be lost on both side of the bridge!

** the existing one way flow system with traffic light is a pretty good traffic calming system.

To date there are 51 individual objectors, 3 neutral comments* and 1 support comment.

*one of these prefers the traffic light solution rather than the new bridge)

In addition, these organisations have objected to the application:

  • Bespoke Cycle Group
  • British Horse Society
  • Seaford Environmental Alliance
  • Cycle Seahaven
  • Eastbourne Downland Group
  • South Downs Network
  • South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment
  • Transport Futures East Sussex
  • Sussex Wildlife Trust
  • Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE)
  • South Downs Society (Friends of the South Downs)
  • Cycling UK

Natural England have serious concerns and may object. They have asked for more information. The Environment Agency have asked for more information. SUSTRANS* whilst not formally objecting say: “We are concerned that the proposals will lead to an increase in vehicular traffic along the A259” and amongst other comments they say “We believe that this proposal will increase dangers to cyclists along the route”.

*Sustainable Transport (British Cycling Organization) or Sustrans is a United Kingdom walking and cycling charity, and the custodian of the National Cycle Network.

Here is a plan of the proposed bridge:

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