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Cows and sheep to roam free over Brighton's Ditchling Road
Sheep and cattle could soon roam free across a Brighton road if plans to improve national park access are approved.
Brighton and Hove City Council, East and West Sussex county councils and The South Downs National Park have been awarded Linking Communities funding from the Department of Transport for the improvements.
More than £5 million will be invested across the region as part of plans to build a network of cycle routes into and around the South Downs National Park area.
The proposals will cover a 2.5km stretch along Ditchling Road, across Coldean Lane and into Stanmer Park.
These include introducing a gravel surface shared between pedestrians and cyclists, the installation of cattle grids to allow for open grazing and clearly identify the national park, reducing the speed limit from 60mph to 40mph and removing lining to encourage drivers to slow down.
A public consultation opened yesterday to give communities around Ditchling Road the chance to share their views on the proposals.
Councillor Pete West, chairman of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “The aim is to create a gateway to the National Park, with access for all, in keeping with the natural beauty of the surroundings.
“The focus is on Ditchling Road and a range of proposals are being put forward to create a calm, safe approach to the park.
“The plans are in keeping with the types of roads and pathways provided at national parks elsewhere around the UK.
“We welcome comment on the ideas being put forward.”
David Alderton, chairman of Preston Park and Fiveways Local Action Team, said the proposals were a shock to people.
He added: “Anyone with dogs will no longer be able to exercise their pets off leads or anywhere in Wild Park given the presence of free-ranging farm animals over this entire area.
“It just seems like the most bizarre plan – and to take the road markings away.
“People who don’t know the road and street curves and the way it dips will be completely blind in that sense.”
Residents can take part in the consultation at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/ditchlingroadSDNP or call the transport planning team on 01273 290487 for more information.
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