You may not know that Centurion Way is going to be converted into a so-called country path as part of the Whitehouse Farm development. This is a 5.5 mile (9km) walking and cycling route for Chichester to West Dean that follows the track of the old Chichester to Midhurst railway. This was opened in 1881 to improve access to London.
The line included 3 tunnels and 8 stations, the most notable being Singleton due to its proximity to Goodwood Racecourse. The railway’s decline started with the withdrawal of passenger services in 1935 and the line north of Lavant was closed completely in 1957. The section between Lavant and Chichester was used for the transportation of sugar beet and gravel.
However, this ceased in 1991 and the tracks were removed in 1993.
In 1994 West Sussex County Council purchased the disused line south of Hunters Race Lane and commissioned a feasibility study by Sustrans. Funding for the project also came from English Partnerships, Chichester District Council, (who donated their section of track bed north of Hunters Race Lane) and Tarmac Quarry Products Limited (who provided additional land to enhance the scheme and gravel from their Lavant Pit as a base for the path).
The name Centurion Way was suggested by a local schoolboy and is based on the fact that the path crosses the course of a Roman road. Sculptures relating to aspects of local history were provided as points of interest in association with the South East Arts Board. At its northern end the completed path leads into a network of quiet roads and bridleways leading on towards the South Downs Way. At its southern end, the path joins the South Coast Cycle Route in Chichester (Route 2 of the National Cycle Network).
This means that the community can press on with a meeting for Friday 29th September 2017 at 10.00am. If anyone has any ideas for discussion, please let Ian know in advance. He will put together a short Agenda to provide a framework for your thoughts. He is looking forward to seeing everyone on the 29th for what promises to be a really useful project and concept.
According to Justin, parking is tricky at the Depot and you are strongly advise either cycling to Stane Street or parking the car in Clay Pit Lane. Also available is the former BHS car park which is not far away or why not book your car in for an MoT and park in one of the two bays at the front? lol.
We are fortunate to be able to enjoy and benefit from the Centurion Way and it is important to preserve and improve this unique pathway.