The Parish Council has committed (June 2020) to seek to progress this scheme, which involves upgrading bridleway 2791 (Threals Lane to Northlands Lane – see map below) so that central Thakeham residents can combine this with the existing upgraded bridleway 3676 (High Bar Lane to Threals Lane) to access central Storrington via a safe walking/cycling route. West Chiltington residents would also benefit.
Although it is not an ideally direct route, some form of ‘dog leg’ is unavoidable given the topography of the area (the substantial east-west ridge that the B2139 cuts through at Jackets Hill) and the fact that major works to the B2139 have been ruled out by WSCC on cost/benefit grounds. The Threals Lane route is the best (of admittedly limited) options to provide a safe, all-weather and relatively direct connection.
At the south end of Northlands Lane, walkers have a choice to use Water Lane to reach the Rock Road schools area, or head towards central Storrington via Downsview Avenue – the blue route below. Cyclists are currently restricted to using Water Lane but there is scope to work with WSCC and Storrington PC to enable a cycle-able route to Downsview Ave through the recently consented new housing development at this location.
Indicative route map
Measuring journey distances from the junction of Abingworth Crescent/B2139 to the jct of Fryern Rd/Thakeham Rd in central Storrington, the road route via the B2139 measures 2.95km, whereas the blue route above measures 3.55km. The ~500m difference is relatively modest.
There is further detailed feasibility work to be done, including assessing the works required to smooth the gradient and to ensure a safe crossing at Greenhurst Lane, as well as working-through legal details and potential for other funding contributions alongside the Parish Council. Further updates will be posted as this work progresses.