Plans for riverside cycle path between Arundel and Littlehampton met with mixed reception

L21180H13-JamesWalsh - L21116H13-JamesWalsh  200513  LP''James Walsh, longest serving member of West Sussex County Council. Pictured at home  at Tithe Barn in  Rustington. ENGSUS00120130520155050
L21180H13-JamesWalsh - L21116H13-JamesWalsh 200513 LP''James Walsh, longest serving member of West Sussex County Council. Pictured at home at Tithe Barn in Rustington. ENGSUS00120130520155050

Proposals for a long-awaited riverside cycle path between Arundel, Ford and Littlehampton were greeted with a mixed reception from councillors.

Arun District Council’s Littlehampton regeneration sub-committee met last Thursday to discuss the potential for a 7km track along the west side of the River Arun – an idea first mooted in 1998.

Councillor James Walsh raised concerns that funds to carry out a pre-planning application consultation could be better spent.

“I wish it every success but I can’t believe that £70,000 would be a good way to spend those funds,” he said after the meeting, adding that there was ‘no timetable’ and no firm cost, barring a rough estimate of between £1million and £1.5million.

A council spokesman said the funding would be used to identify projected costs and the next stage is to consult landowners and stakeholders.

The meeting followed a written question to Arun’s cabinet last month from Littlehampton town councillor Derrick Chester.

He said the stretch of river was at risk from flooding and the scheme could take advantage of the upcoming Lyminster and Arundel bypasses by redirecting the cycle path along the soon to be less busy Lyminster Road (see letters, page 36).

Arun District Council leader Gill Brown told Mr Chester the path would bring ‘significant economic benefits for both towns’ for both visitors and residents.

She said: “The council would welcome cycle provision as part of the Lyminster bypass scheme, but why should this be instead of as you suggest? The council would support the delivery of both.”