An Invitation to become a Member of the OVCN Project

OVCNLOGO-webbannerWith the Project to build The Egrets Way well into its 3rd year,  we have recently become a Registered Charity (No 1155182). This will enable us to raise funds more easily as well as to limit the personal liability of the Trustees (members of the Steering Committee).

It also means that now only Members of the Project can vote at the AGM.

So, we would like you to apply to become a Member of the Project in time for our next AGM. The only requirements are that:

you agree with and support the aims of the OVCN Project (listed below) and
you become a Member at least 3 months before the AGM.

Membership does not impose any obligations on you other than to continue to support our aims,  so you can resign your membership at any time. It does,  however,  ensure that you will be kept informed about progress as we continue to work toward the completion of the Project.

To become a Member you only have to reply to send an email to the OVCN Secretary, a link is provided below. This will confirm that you agree with and support the aims of the OVCN Project and would like to become a Member.

The AGM will be held in January,  2015 (date and venue to be confirmed) so to be eligible to vote please sign up by the end of October 2014.

Many thanks
Neville Harrison
Chair,  Ouse Valley Cycle Network (Egrets Way) Project

Aims of the OVCN Project

  • Creating a network of safe, shared routes in the Ouse valley for everyday and recreational use
  • Connecting Ouse valley town, villages and amenities
  • Offering sustainable access for all to the South Downs National Park
  • Encouraging healthy lifestyle choices
  • Linking local, national and international routes
  • Helping to create a thriving local economy and green tourism
  • Promoting understanding of Living Landscapes


Click HERE to send a pre-formatted email to OVCN.
For more information on OVCN and their exciting project for a cycle route between Newhaven and Lewes go to or click on our club link for other OVCN articles

Egrets Way – unsurfaced section


Phase Two of Egrets Way (Southease to Rodmell) still has only half the river bank section surfaced, at the request of the landowner. This makes the full route unsuitable for the young, less experienced and less able unless the ground is hard and worn smooth. Cycle Seahaven contacted the Egrets Way project to see if this was likely to be remedied.

Below is a copy of our letter and the reply.


Dear Sir,
We are disappointed to see that the northern half of the section between Southease and Rodmell remains ‘unsurfaced at the request of the landowner’. This is unfortunate because the unsurfaced section is unsuitable for the inexperienced, young or less able. As an fully inclusive club Cycle Seahaven are unable to recommend this section of Egrets Way to our members or in response to public requests for route guidance. This is a real shame as it renders the surfaced section much less appealing.
Do you know the reasons for not surfacing this part of the new bridleway, and whether there is something the public can do to help make the entire section rideable for everyone?
We would be grateful for your permission to publish your response on our website.
Cycle Seahaven remains strong supporters for OVCN and Egrets Way and we look forward to the opening of a  shared route between Lewes and Newhaven.
Thanks and regards,
Andy Lock
Cycle Seahaven


From the Egrets Way Project Committee
The Egrets Way Project seeks to create a safe shared path linking Newhaven and Lewes alongside the river with connections to communities in the Ouse Valley and to other paths and cycle routes. We have made remarkable progress in just three years with the Kingston to Lewes link opened last September and a bridleway section between Rodmell and Southease opened in June. Last month we were granted planning permission for the whole of the remaining riverside path and, if discussions with landowners to secure the necessary agreements are successful, there is a real prospect of completing further sections in the foreseeable. This is thanks to a government grant awarded to the South Downs National Park to improve cycling in the Park illustrating how the mix of a local community group and a National body working in partnership is critical to success. However even with planning permission granted and funding available the Egrets Way vision can only become reality with the good-will and agreement of landowners.
You ask about the section of the Southease-Rodmell bridleway that remains unsurfaced. We had the funds for this but the landowner involved, whilst agreeing to the creation of a new bridleway, did not want a constructed path. Although a disappointment we should gratefully accept what has been achieved: a new path that cyclists and horse riders can legitimately use where previously there was none. We recognise this may limit its use to summer months for some, but not all, users. For family cycling there is still the opportunity to enjoy a safe cycle ride in tranquil and beautiful countryside using the half mile surfaced section running from Southease Bridge with options of riding on the South Downs Way lane to Southease village or in the other direction to the nearby South Downs YHA with its Courtyard café open to all.
So let’s celebrate and enjoy what’s been achieved, anticipate the completion of further sections in the foreseeable future and hope for the upgrading of any unsurfaced sections in the longer term.
Neville Harrison
Chair Egrets Way Project

Egrets Way Planning Approved

Cycle SeahavenCycle Seahaven are encouraged to hear that South Downs National Park has approved the Planning Application for the Egrets Way.

Our Chairman, Jamie Lynch, said, “We are happy that the Park Authority is looking to promote cycling and give it the priority that is clearly needed in considering all transport options in the Park area.  A safe cycling route north from the coast for families, commuters and leisure cyclists is long overdue in order to avoid the perils of the A26 and C7 as well as linking up with the national cycling network.”

We understand that there are still decisions to be made on the detail of the route but, with funding in place, we need to grasp this unique opportunity to make a safe and healthy cycle route for future generations to enjoy.


Parker Pen Site Development

A Planning proposal has been added for 145 homes on the old Parker Pen Site. There are further plans on the drawing board for substantially more houses on the adjoining Eastside. Cycle Seahaven are always keen to see if local development correctly considers the needs of people who choose to make journeys by bicycle, so we have looked at the plans and have come to some initial conclusions

The online Access Statement mentions cycle parking spaces: “1 secure cycle space per 2 bed house and 1 & 2 bed flats are proposed. 2 secure spaces per 3 & 4 bed house are also proposed. Additional spaces for visitors will be provided at the entrances to the flats in the form of ‘Sheffield’ type hoops.”. Very encouraging so far.

The Transport Assessment states that the development will aim “To give priority to safe movement and access by pedestrians, cyclists and public transport” and “2.4.7  Policy  T7 –  Provision  for  Cyclists  states  that  ‘the  District  Council  will  seek, where  appropriate,  cycle  routes,  cycle  priority  measures  and  secure  cycle parking to be provided as a part of new development.”  However, the same document goes on to state “5.3.6  Cycle access will be available on carriageway on the onsite streets as is the case for  the  surrounding  streets. No segregated cycleways or shared cycle footways are proposed.”.

Sharing the road with cars is a given, so were are unsure how the above lack of specific cycleways equates to how the Concept Master Plan will achieve: “additional pedestrian and cycle links through the site…”, or how this gives priority for cycles.

The planners are likely to point to the Travel Demand (Section 6 of the Transport Assessment), where cycling has a pretty low predicted 96 journeys per week. But, if there were dedicated cycle lanes between this development the local schools, shops, surgeries, businesses and churches then cycle take-up would be much higher. Also consider the newly proposed University Technical College and the expansion of Newhaven Growth Quarter on Denton Island. Factor in the new Egrets Way walking/cycle route to Lewes and the Ouse Estuary Trail to Seaford, there are lots of places that can be connected by bike, all on level ground and all very easily accessible by bike, scooter or disability chair.

You can find the planning application by clicking HERE and searching for  LW/14/0188

We look forward to your comments before requesting further clarification from the planners. Please use the comments box below or our Contacts page if you wish to remain anonymous.


Egrets Way Planning Meeting – 10th July 2014

Cycle Seahaven will be represented at the planning meeting for Egrets Way.

On Thursday 10th July the South Downs National Park Authority will consider the ‘Egrets Way’ planning application for a shared route (walking, cycling, disabled) between Lewes and Newhaven.

The full agenda can be read using THIS LINK. The Egrets Way is agenda item 17.

Andy Lock will be present at the meeting to support this proposal, representing Cycle Seahaven and other local cycle groups. The key points in support of this scheme are:

With regard to Seahaven and links to the wider cycle network

  • Strongly  supported by local cycle clubs: Cycle Seahaven, Cycle East Sussex, Bricycles, Cycle Lewes, Friston MTB;
  • Egrets Way will be a popular recreational route as well as a utility route;
  • ‘Island’ nature of Seaford & Newhaven – surrounded by hills making it difficult for families and less abled
    • Ouse Valley is the only safe & flat way out,
    • C7 too narrow;
  • Links onto to regional route 90 which goes:
    • West – to the football stadium (via the new cycle track), the universities and Brighton,
    • East – to Glynde and Berwick railway stations, Drusillas Zoo, The Cuckoo Trail and Eastbourne;
  • Proposed links to Peacehaven, Telscombe and the Big Park Project:
    • 22,000 people in Telscombe and Peacehaven,
    • New cycle racks at Southease Rail Station for commuters are reliant on Egrets Way;
  • Links to the new cycle route on Seaford Seafront via Ouse Estuary trail:
    • 23,000 people in Seaford,
    • Seafront route links directly to Museum and RSPB site via 2 rail stations;
  • Links to the growing cycle network in Newhaven (see our A259 analysis):
    • 12,000 people in Newhaven,
    • International sea port.
  • Links to County Town of Lewes
    • 16,000 people in Lewes,
    • Location for major public sector employers (Police, Councils).

Wider context for other communities:

  • Connects our County Town of Lewes to our International Seaport of Newhaven
  • Joins communities along the Lower Ouse to local churches, schools and businesses
    • Monks House
    • Abergavenny Arms
    • YHA & Cafe
    • Spring Barn Farm
    • Garden Centre
  • Three rail stations along route
  • links up cycle routes NCN90, SDW, NCN2 and Avenue Verte via the villages of the Lower Ouse

If there are any other issues that should be raised then please leave a comment below or contact us from our CONTACT PAGE. We only have three minutes to get across how good this proposal is for local cyclists, so try to be concise with any comments.




Southease to Rodmell Opening Celebration

Saturday 7th June

The weather forecast for rain did not deter the 50 walkers,  horse riders and cyclists who attended the official opening of the Southease to Rodmell section of Egrets Way. This latest section to be completed (also called Phase 2, Phase 1 being the Kingston to Lewes section) starts at a wide gate near Southease bridge, and a lovely all-weather surface follows the river bank before turing left to Rodmell. There is an unmade section in the middle,  but we hope this will be rectified soon. Once at Rodmell you can visit Monks House,  and a little further up the road is the Abergavenny Arms. You can get to the Southease end by train. Visitors to Monks House or the Pub can use their carparks.

Cycle Seahaven were in attendance with their regular ‘Dr. Bike’  tent and three volunteer mechanics – plenty of ‘shed bikes’  were working much better after free air,  oil and a bit of knowledge-sharing on how to tweak a bike. The local policing team were there too, applying security markings to bikes – also free. Abergavenny Arms donated 100 cupcakes (yes, one hundred) to give to the hungry crowds – my favourite being the ones with salt caramel icing. Refreshments were further complemented by the Ouse Valley Cycle Network team who laid on free fruit juice.

The sun soon came out and the day became wonderfully sunny, making the most of the gardens at Monks House (National Trust), which were opened for free to those attending the celebrations. The South Downs National Park Authority were also in attendance, with a huge map and information on how the National Park is being run and developed. Did I mention the price for attending this celebration? Yup, all free.

For those looking to explore this section of Egrets Way here’s a link to Google Map



Click HERE for more Cycle Seahaven info on Egrets Way and go to where you can sign up to support this amazing project.

Another write up



ESCC response to Cycle Seahaven’s cycle route proposals for Newhaven

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) have proposed some new cycle lanes linking Newhaven and Peacehaven, which sounds great. However we are concerned that these proposals are mainly on steep and narrow roads, so would do little for the take-up of cycling. You can see our counter-proposals here:

ESCC have responded to the above:

Thank you for your email.

Further to the consultation various elements of the proposals are being taken forward for detailed design and construction. As you know we had a limited budget for Newhaven as the LSTF funding had to be used in Eastbourne too. I have attached a link to the reports that went to our Lead Member for Transport and Environment in February. This was item 7 on the agenda and the report was approved. It sets out which elements are being progressed:

In terms of the route along Valley Road, this was considered as part of the feasibility study looking at routes between Peacehaven and Newhaven. There were issues on this route with land ownership and crossing Lewes Road and given the tight timescales of the LSTF funding this option was not put forward for consultation, however that does not mean it couldn’t be considered if further funding became available.

Background to LSTF and our campaign strategy
Our campaign list of priorities, which is now under review

Southease to Rodmell under way

Despite the recent apalling weather the Southease to Rodmell section of The Egrets Way is now under construction, linking up the SouthDowns Way to the bridleway from Rodmell. This is an important step in creating a full length cycle way between Lewes and Newhaven. This second stage (the first being the Lewes to Kingston link) will open up the possibility to take your bike on the train to Southease then ride along the banks of the Ouse before turning left to Monks House and the Abergavenny Arms at Rodmell – all on the flat. For the time being only half the route will have a rustic all-weather surface, so at some times of the year this may not be suitable for thinner-tyres. We hope this will change in the near future so access will be given to all ages and abilites, whatever the weather.

The Ouse Valley Cycle Network project ( continue to strive for a full length cycle and walk way, sensitively surfaced to match the beauty of the valley while providing access for all abilites. The OVCN steering group are spending considerable time on making this happen, and Cycle Seahaven are proud to offer support. You can donate a few quid to help make this exciting project a reality by visiting on our online store: Thank you.

EgretsWay SEE-RDM EgretsWay SEE-RDM EgretsWay SEE-RDMphoto 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

Stay up to date on the latest developments at

Cycling on Seaford prom gets the go ahead

It is good news indeed to hear that Carl Maynard, Lead Member for Transport and Environment, has agreed to a trial allowing cycling along Seaford seafront this Easter. The trial will start in April and last for 6 months.

The proposal is for ‘shared access’ across the whole width of the prom. Cycle Seahaven fully suport the ethos of a shared, fully inclusive path without the ‘automatic rights’ suggested by white lines. It will be up to everyone to share this wonderful place with mutual respect. The prom will be for leisure cyclists who keep their speed down, and definitely not for ‘racers’.

Marine Parade and the Esplanade are popular roads for on-street car parking, which presents additional hazards. An off-road promenade route will reduce the risk to leisure cyclists, especially for the young and less abled. We’ve had strong support from residents and local authorities for this welcome trial –

“ Seaford Neighbourhood Policing Team are keen to support any initiative which makes cycling safer, especially for more vulnerable cyclists. We hope that this will do just that and encourage more people to get out on their bikes, whilst at the same time respecting the rights and enjoyment of pedestrians.” Sgt. Stuart Mullins, Sussex Police

“We are rightly proud of our promenade and it is an area that is greatly enjoyed by everyone.  Opening it up for shared use will widen participation in cycling which is a wonderful form of exercise, and families with young children will also have a safe space to teach their children to cycle.
It will also mean that we can sensibly extend the Sustrans National Cycle route which connects Newhaven and Seaford.  I am encouraging the County Council to also look at improving the fair weather route that was recently opened connecting Chyngton   Lane North with Exceat.
I  hope Seaford Town Council who are going to work in partnership with East Sussex County Council on this scheme will also include Cycle Seahaven, our local cycle group who have particular expertise and who already do a lot of work with local families and cyclists.” Councillor Carolyn Lambert

Cycle Seahaven will continue to work with the local policing team, Seaford Town Council and East Sussex County Council to help ensure that all cyclists respect other users in the way they ride, particularly along the promenade.