Route: Centurion Way extension

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The Centurion Way extension is now open and takes you further towards West Dean. It's not a sealed surface, but it is broad and well-drained so easy to cycle.

Unfortunately, the top of the extension ends in a cul de sac with no way to get to get beyond it.

When we tried it out, we took a tip from a local and backtracked a bit to a gate across a path that leads out to the A286. The gate has a padlock, but it wasn't locked. Instead, the gate was secured by a piece of rope obviously designed to allow people to get through the gate easily. The map above shows where the path meets the A286. This is a picture of the gate from the A286:

Centurion Way Gate

Mike Ashton has spoken to his SDNPA contact and confirmed there is no public right of way along the 15 metre, or so, long path linking the extension with the A286.

Taking a group up the extension is, in any case, a bit of a risk because - if the gate is locked - it's a long way to backtrack. On the other hand, if you're going south, you can check the state of the gate right at the outset.

4 thoughts on “Centurion Way extension

  1. I've received a copy of a press release about the extension which says:

    "Please be advised that there is no access to West Dean village from the new path extension, or to the new path from the village. Access to the village still remains via the segregated path alongside the A286 from Binderton. The Authority wish to reiterate the request to all path users to respect the privacy of adjacent landowners and not to trespass over private land to access the path from the village and vice versa."

    But that doesn't explain why the owners appear to be willing to make access available by not locking the gate.

    The note also says:

    "For the time being the trail will end with information panels at West Dean tunnel telling the story of the railway line. Existing access to the village itself stays the same via the segregated path alongside the A286. Further sections of the route will be created as funding becomes available.

    This new section of path is part of our long-term ambition to create a safe off-road route for walkers and cyclists stretching all the way through the National Park from Chichester to Midhurst.

    We’re grateful to the Edward James Foundation and their tenants who we’re working with to protect access rights on the trail for the long-term. So far this has included widening the top end of the trail to allow safe access for the occasional farm vehicles and moving a manege to make sure that the local equestrians don’t lose out. Our next steps are to keep working with the estate and the parish to agree a better route from the path into the village and find funding to extend the trail further.”

  2. Gilbert and I tried to get onto the extension from the north end last Saturday and we found the way is barred with a formidable gate and a substantial padlock. Seems someone has noticed people were ignoring the sign.

    1. I was on holiday in West Dean last week and worked was underway to install access onto the lane beside West Dean School. The guys working there were only clearing the undergrowth but thought that access would be steps with a wheeling ramp. Better than nothing I suppose. A further development is that a contract has now been lket to open up West Dean tunnel and extend the route towards Singleton. I'll post a link one I re-find it.

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