ANGRY Walberton residents have criticised a cycle path route scarring their ancient village green.
They said the section of the route had wrecked the enjoyment of the site.
One of them, Alan Curzons, said: “The village green has been here certainly since the 18th century and it’s in a conservation area.
“We also have a neighbourhood plan of which one of the key objectives is to maintain green space. And the number one green space listed is the village green.
“There is considerable opposition to what has happened. Nearly everyone we have spoken to didn’t know anything about it. The one or two who did, thought it was going right along the boundary.”
His wife, Jenny Curzons, said: “Nobody in their right mind would say this is the right thing to do for the village green. It just ruins the village green and creates a scar across it.”
The section of the route is about 50m long, 3m wide and 10m from the western edge of the village green’s northern section.
It forms the northern end of the path for cyclists and walkers being installed for about a mile between Barnham and Walberton for £335,000 by West Sussex County Council.
Mr Curzons, a resident of West Walberton Lane since 1993, said there was a lot of support for the cycle route between the villages up to the final section.
But that backing among the scores of people he and his wife had spoken to did not apply to the final section.
“People are horrified by what has happened,” said Mrs Curzons.
All of them - such as Roger Jay, of Avisford Park Road, and Mill Lane resident Susan Sargent - are equally opposed to that section.
It cuts out the junction of Eastergate Lane and West Walberton Lane for cyclists.
But Mr Jay said he feared it could become popular with other riders.
He said: “It’s going to need a barrier or bollards there. Otherwise, I’m worried motorcyclists will start using it as a shortcut.”
The county council discussed the issue yesterday as the Observer went to press.
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