This project was unanimously endorsed by Burgess Hill Town Council and included in the Mid Sussex District Council’s Core Strategy for the Burgess Hill area over the next 20 years. It creates a circle around the town of a combined wildlife corridor and cycle/pedestrian route almost entirely off-road. There are ‘spokes’ in the ‘wheel’ which then connect to the centre of town. Both routes use green spaces, footpaths (surfaced and designated for cycles as well) and proposed cycleways/lanes beside existing roads. The main benefits of the project are:- 1. Green Corridor protects and enhances wildlife
a) Bedelands Nature Reserve was voted number 1 in the top ten attractions of Burgess Hill by Sussex Life magazine. More sites (with Nature Reserve status), linked by ‘Green Corridors’, would enhance the public’s enjoyment and wildlife’s benefit.
b) SWT: We can’t exist without nature and nature will not flourish without our help. Isolated nature reserves and other protected sites are unlikely to be able to sustain wildlife in the long term. Sites will need to be buffered, extended and linked if wildlife is to be able to adapt to climate change.
2. Traffic-free cycle & pedestrian network suitable for push-chairs, wheelchairs (and equestrians where possible)
a) The National Cycle Network is continuing to act as a catalyst for changing travel behaviour, and is encouraging many more people to walk and cycle.
b) Traffic-free routes are encouraging people to return to or start cycling. On these sections 14% of trips are by people new to or returning to cycling as opposed to 2% on road adjacent routes.
3. Safe links to schools, shops, work, sport, stations, countryside
a) Over 12 million trips are being made to school on the cycle network.
b) Nearly a quarter of traffic on the roads at 8.50am is taking children to school.
c) A quarter of all trips on the national network in 2006 were for commuting and business purposes
d) The Green Circle and its network passes 11 schools, 3 local shopping parades, 2 ‘factory estates’, The Triangle and 7 sports areas, 2 stations plus…ancient woodlands and hedgerows, flower-rich meadows, ponds and stunning views.
4. Encourages exercise and exploration
a) Nationally, a 10% increase in the number of people cycling regularly would lead to a 4% reduction in the number with heart disease, saving the NHS £200 million a year.
b) More people die of coronary heart disease and strokes than cancer.
c) Diabetes is linked to obesity, which has reached epidemic levels among children.
5. Community project involving voluntary organisations & councils
a) WSCC, MSDC, BHTC, HHTC, HPC, KPC, (ESCC, LDC for eastern option)
b) Residents’ Associations, Clubs & Societies (playgroups, youth, church, History, Access Group, Bridleways Group,
c) SWT, BTCV, SUSTRANS, Ramblers, RSPB
6. Full integration with Burgess Hill plans
a) Transport, Health, Environment etc.
b) The project is sustainable and achievable at very low capital cost from a variety of sources…Council budgets, Twittens Project, Lottery Funding, Specific Grants, Private, Commercial, Developer contributions etc. All on Council land (excluding eastern option).
Areas within 100m of the Green Circle and its network
Manor Field CP, Birchwood Grove CP, Newick House, Burgess Hill School, Oakmeads College, London Mead CP, St Wildfrids RC, Southway CP, Gattons Infants, St Pauls College, Sheddingdean CP.
b) Both stations and ‘factory’ estates
c) Sports Areas
The Triangle, Oakmeads College, Marle Place, St Johns Park, Sidney West, Fairfield/Southway Recreation Grounds, West End Farm/ Worlds End & Leylands Park Sports Grounds, plus smaller local children’s play areas (Tilers Close, Swan Close, Barnside Avenue, Folders Meadow, Pepper Drive, and Pookebourne.
d) Green Spaces
Bedelands LNR, Railway Fields, Batchelors Farm, Nightingale Meadows, Hammonds Ridge Meadows and Woodlands, Malthouse Lane/Gatehouse Lane/Malthouse Lane/Pangdean Lane Meadows, West Park LNR, Coulstock Road, Faulkners Field, Maple Drive, Sussex Way open spaces, Oathall Pond.
e) Town Centre and four local shopping parades