The £2m Bognor to Littlehampton shared pedestrian and cycle path has officially been launched.
Guests gathered today (Thursday, August 2) to formally open the 4.5km direct route along the A259 , which was funded by West Sussex County Council and Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.
Leader of West Sussex County Council Louise Goldsmith cut a green ribbon – to keep with the sustainable theme – to mark the occasion.
In a statement, she said: “I am delighted to see another cycle route open and for all to use.
“Such paths are great for visitors to the area and this is a perfect link between Bognor Regis and Littlehampton.
“We can all benefit from such cycle routes in so many ways and I am very grateful to our partners for their collaboration to make this scheme a reality.”
Those present at the event included Arun District Council chairman Alan Gammon and Chris Sprules and John Coote of sustainable transport charity Sustrans, which promotes the National Cycle Network. Staff from the county council’s Bikeability also team provided free cycle safety checks at The Oystercatcher pub and restaurant, in Climping, adjacent to the new path.
Bob Lanzer, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “This new, shared path brings with it numerous benefits, including helping the environment and boosting the local economy by making it easier for commuters and visitors to get to the two towns on foot, or by cycle or mobility scooter.
“We would like to thank road users for their patience while the work was ongoing. Now, we hope both residents and visitors will enjoy the result, which has added significance as it forms part of National Cycle Route 2.”
West Sussex Cycle Forum has welcomed the new route and urged the public to use it.
Chairman of the cycle forum Geoff Farrell said: “At last – a way to cycle safely between Felpham and Littlehampton.
“The main reason why people say ‘I’d like to ride a bike – but I won’t’ is because cycling is not seen as safe. Separating bikes from vehicles is the only truly safe way.
“The new path will encourage people to get riding – the benefits for the individual and society are huge. That’s why we all need many more miles of cycle paths separated from traffic, such as this new path, with its lovely, smooth surface. Finally, a plea to everyone – use it.”