For over 10 years local residents and representatives of the different user groups have highlighted the dangers of the crossing and are now calling on West Sussex County Council to make the route safe by building a bridge across this busy road.
The Downs Link is a 37 mile largely off-road path for walkers, cyclists and horse riders between Guildford in Surrey and Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex.
The route follows two disused railway lines and links the South Downs Way to the North Downs Way as well as connecting to a wider network of paths between the Thames and the south coast.
However at its halfway point near the village of Rudgwick the path is split in two by the busy A281, a strategic route for HGVs between Horsham and Guildford.
In July 2020 warnings about the dangerous crossing came tragically true when Pathushan Sutharsan, a young man on a charity bike ride, was hit and killed by an HGV.
At the inquest into Pathu’s death the Coroner noted that safety of the crossing has been a concern for many years and considers the current design too dangerous.
In her report she stated that “there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken” and took the extraordinary step of calling on West Sussex County Council to take action to address this danger.
The following video shows why a bridge is needed. Would you let your loved ones cross here?
Where the Downs Link meets the A281 is the only point on the route where there is no safe crossing of a major A-road and – in the Coroner’s opinion – it poses a “substantial risk for cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians alike”.
We are calling on West Sussex County Council to build a bridge now for walkers, cyclists and horse riders to prevent another death on the Downs Link.
The campaign is supported by many local, regional and national groups, including Rudgwick Parish Council, the Rudgwick Preservation Society, the British Horse Society, the Horsham District Cycling Forum, the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce and the West Sussex Cycle Forum.