A path linking Woodingdean with Falmer is set for a major facelift when improvement works begin next week (15 March).
On the doorstep of the National Park, the 2.5km path has been a popular route for walkers, cyclists and commuters since it was installed alongside Falmer Road in 2013 with the help of funding from the Department for Transport.
It also provides a traffic-free link from Woodingdean to the University of Sussex campus and American Express Community Stadium and, in 2018, was being used by 500 cyclists a week.
Over time though, the path has eroded, become uneven and overgrown, making it unusable for some people.
Now, a partnership scheme between Brighton & Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council and the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNP) will spend around £300,000 to smooth the surface and make it accessible for everyone using it.
The work will also allow the route to be added to the ‘Rights of Way’ map and be maintained jointly by Brighton & Hove City Council and East Sussex County Council.
Work will take approximately 14 weeks to complete. The path will have to be closed while this is done for the safety of the public and the team working on site.
Brighton & Hove City Council’s SDNP councillor Martin Osborne, said: “I know this is a popular route for many people so it’s great to see that improvements are on the way.
“This path provides a sustainable link between Falmer and Woodingdean, making it ideal for active and sustainable travel between the two villages. By working with our partners, we can ensure this remains an accessible and enjoyable route for years to come.
Councillor Claire Dowling, Lead Member for Transport & Environment at East Sussex County Council, said: “I am really pleased that we have been able to work in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council and the South Downs National Park Authority again to enhance this popular route for local people and to connect with longer distance locations like Lewes.
“This is being funded through our Emergency Active Travel Fund Tranche 2 programme to improve cycling and walking.”
Allison Thorpe, Access and Recreation Lead for the South Downs National Park, said: “Having access to green space for health and wellbeing has never been more important and this refurbishment work will enable communities in Brighton and Hove to connect to this treasured landscape on their doorstep.
“This important route also provides a sustainable traffic-free link to the universities and the stadium.
“It all ties in with the National Park’s ongoing work to help create more accessible, multi-user paths across the South Downs that allow everyone to be able to get out and enjoy these beautiful views and connect with nature.”