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  Press Release Number 285 09 June 1999
Another section of the Worth Way will be upgraded shortly as part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network, which is the largest single National Lottery Millennium Fund project in Britain.

A surface of natural material to blend in with the surroundings will be laid along the path on the disused railway line from Crawley Down, near Cob Close to Grosvenor Road at East Grinstead. The surface will be 2.5 metres wide and will be suitable for use by walkers, cyclists and horseriders. The path is designed to be environmentally sensitive and in keeping with the rural area through which it passes. Where there is room, grassy margins will be left on each side to encourage wild flowers and enhance the visual appearance of the path.

Contractors, Edburtons, are due to start work on June 21 and this will last approximately eight weeks.

For reasons of public safety it will be necessary to close Worth Way while the work is in progress. The alternative route will be via the Chapmans Lane Bridleway.

The hours of working and path closure will be 7.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday for the duration of the contract. The public will have access at evenings and weekends.

The public footpath crossing point at Gullege will be maintained for walkers. The path to the north only here is a bridleway, but will become a dead-end for equestrians and cyclists, until work east of Gullege is complete and Worth Way between Gullege and Cob Close (Crawley Down) can be re-opened.

The other access points which will be temporarily closed are Cob Close, Imberhorne Lane (ramp to the south-east of the bridge), Dickens Close/Burns Way/Sheridan Place, and East Grinstead Station Car Park (near Grosvenor Road).

In East Grinstead the work will also include an improved access path to Worth Way from Garden Wood Road and an extension of Worth Way at the railway station car park to join Grosvenor Road.

At Crawley Down the works do not include the proposed new ramp from Cob Close to the railway embankment, which will proceed following site investigations.

The project is being jointly funded by West Sussex County Council, Mid Sussex District Council and the National Lottery Millennium Fund. Part of the funding was obtained by an agreement with Eurobell in 1997 to lay television cables under the path.

The improved path will provide a valuable route for work, school, leisure and shopping journeys between Crawley Down and East Grinstead. New and improved connecting paths are to be provided to Imberhorne School. Around 100 pupils a day could use the completed route to travel to school from Crawley Down.

The total cost of the path is 300,000, with this link costing 66,000. The National Cycle Network as a whole will cost a total of 183 million.

Over the following year the path will be linked with the new section of Worth Way under construction in Three Bridges, between Station Hill and Balcombe Road, and with the Forest Way leading into East Sussex. Forest Way improvements are due to take place this summer between East Grinstead and Ashurst Wood. Further improvements are planned between Worth and Crawley Down. In future, it is intended to provide cycle connections through the heart of East Grinstead town centre, as part of the town's Urban Transport Plan.

The whole improved Worth Way and Forest Way will form part of Route 21 of the National Cycle Network, which will link London, Reigate and Gatwick Airport with East Grinstead, Heathfield and Eastbourne. At Three Bridges, Route 21 will also connect with cycle routes to Crawley town centre and eventually Brighton.