A DISUSED part of the route connecting the North and South Downs has been reopened.

The missing section of the Downs Link on the old Guildford Railway Line between Mill Lane and Christ’s Hospital Station near Horsham is now safe to use for anyone wanting to travel off-road.

Upgrades to the 1.4km section of the Downs Link included repairing two bridges, surfacing and drainage repairs, jointly funded by Christ’s Hospital School and West Sussex County Council.

Nick Tesseyman, chief operating officer at Christ’s Hospital, said: “This is a really good example of how the school can partner with the council to improve the environment for the local community. We look forward to seeing increased usage of the path.”

Cllr Deborah Urquhart said: “The new path will provide a safer off-road recreational route, as well as encouraging new ones – but please remember social distancing at all times.”

The Downs Link is a long distance shared route connecting the North and South Downs.

The Guildford Branch Line was closed in 1965 as part of the Beeching Cuts. In 2011, Christ’s Hospital purchased a 1.6km section of the former Guildford Branch Line from Christ’s Hospital Station to the A264 Five Oaks Road near Slinfold.

Until now, anyone on the route has had to use the road for this 1.9km stretch, but Christ’s Hospital station can now be safely accessed by bicycle or on foot, and walkers and cyclists can enjoy an uninterrupted stretch of the Sussex countryside.