Unlike the actual cuckoo – only with us in the summer – the Cuckoo Trail, an off road surfaced 14 mile Sussex cycle, riding and walking route, has things to offer all year round.
This picturesque trail follows the former ‘Cuckoo Line’ railway track and stretches from Heathfield to Eastbourne Park. It passes through Horam, Hailsham and Polegate. Gentle gradients and a sealed surface along the whole route, makes the Cuckoo Trail usable in all weathers, by all users, and the trail forms part of the National Cycle Network in East Sussex.
Enhancing the Cuckoo Trail
We have been contacted by Hailsham Active, to support their campaign for walking and cycling infrastructure within any new proposed housing estates. South Wealden is planning on building 13,000 homes in the Hailsham and Willingdon area and the current walking and cycling strategy has a plan that does not include these estates and many of these sites are not within the 2016 Local Plan. To remedy this and try to ensure that the importance of the Cuckoo Trail is recognised and supported, a petition has been put together:
We the undersigned petition the Council to Ensure that the Cuckoo Trail is developed, extended and protected as the main “traffic free” route in South Wealden.
Much of the current ESCC planning for walking and cycling revolves around 5 year strategies and plans. Routes therefore reflect the priorities of a few years ago when many of the new housing developments were unknown. In the current planning climate, where sites that are not even in the Wealden Local Plan are being considered, the approach must be much more proactive. The possibility of more than 10,000 additional houses in South Wealden requires that clear guidance is given to developers.
This early guidance to developers, especially in the Hailsham area, should include:-
1) The Cuckoo Trail is the main north-south “traffic free” route in the South Wealden area and must be both protected and enhanced. It is part of the National Cycle Route 21 from London to Eastbourne and has a direct route into the centre of Hailsham.
2) Developments should, where possible, include a “traffic free” pedestrian and cycle link to the Cuckoo Trail. Ideally sites should also have a “traffic free” route around the edge of the site as part of this wider network.
3) New estates should provide healthy more direct routes, away from main roads, for pedestrians and cyclists and provide permeability between estates, shops, community resources and schools. This will encourage exercise and a healthier population.
If you would like to support this petition by adding your name, click HERE
If you would like to know more about the Cuckoo Trail see the East Sussex website HERE