Flood defence work closes popular Shoreham riverside cycle path

The riverbank cycle and footpath in Shoreham has been closed until October 2017
The riverbank cycle and footpath in Shoreham has been closed until October 2017

The riverbank cycle and foot path, part of the Downs Link, has been closed due to building work for Shoreham’s new flood defences.

The Environment Agency has confirmed that the path has been closed from the toll bridge to the high street for one year as construction work continues on the £25 million Adur Tidal Walls scheme.

Jennifer Richardson, of Adur Avenue, who has lived in Shoreham all her life and frequently cycles along the riverbank, said she was ‘really sad’ about the closure of the popular path.

“It is very distressing,” she said. “A lot of people are commenting on it.

“Lots of people go to work on the path. Now they are forced to cycle on the road or have to travel by bus or by car.

“It’s a real joy to ride down there on a nice day. You don’t get caught up in any traffic or danger.

“We are really missing it.”

She describes Old Shoreham Road, one of the roads which cyclists and pedestrians are being diverted to during the closure, as ‘very busy and dangerous’.

However, St Nicolas Ward councillor and council leader Neil Parkin said of the path closure: “This multi-million pound project is to protect Shoreham from flooding for many years to come.

“I feel a little inconvenience now is a small price to pay.”

A West Sussex County Council spokesman confirmed the diversion will be in place until approximately October 2017.

Brian Coomber, who is also a councillor for the St Nicolas ward, confirmed that barriers had been set up at the end of the path near the Ropetackle Arts Centre, with posters showing the construction plans.

According to the county council website, contractors Team Van Oord hope to temporarily reopen the Downs Link for Christmas. An EA spokesperson said they would review the situation nearer the time and that updates would be posted on the project website.

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