Fishbourne’s fight to save Emperor Way continues

Cyclists and walkers  on Emperor Way C120953-1
Cyclists and walkers on Emperor Way C120953-1

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to continue the fight to save a well-used pathway.

At a meeting of Fishbourne Parish Council, members heard a proposal to make the under-threat Emperor Way a formal right of way was ready for submission.

Chairman Geoff Hand said the decision to go to the rights of way committee did not mean the council had ‘given up all hope’ of reaching an agreement with the Sussex Archeological Society, which owns Fishbourne Roman Palace.

However, he said any agreement would have to include a permanent right of way along the current route of Emperor Way.

The application will be considered by the rights of way committee in October.

The fight to save the path, which is used by cyclists, pedestrians and school children, began last year.

Proposed extensions to Fishbourne Roman Palace could see the fields on the other side of Emperor Way being brought into use.

The council’s task force also examined two proposals for rerouting Emperor Way but said ‘risk factors’ in both meant they were not feasible.

Mr Hand said turning right would exit onto the ‘busiest and narrowest part’ of the A259 while turning left would leave cyclists and walkers ‘totally unobserved’ with ‘no escape route’.

So far, more than 700 people have signed a petition to save the rural route, with a further 70 signing an e-petition.

A report, compiled by the task force, includes a host of comments from users of the path.

Concerns raised included a ‘disregard for sustainable travel links’ and the ‘serious safety hazard’ of closing the route.

All users of Emperor Way are invited to attend a meeting on Thursday, September 19, at the Fishbourne Centre, in Blackboy Lane.

The meeting will start at 8pm but there will be half an hour beforehand to view a display on the campaign and chat to members of the task force.

The Sussex Archaeological Society has previously said the path, which is not currently a public right of way, offers a security risk and could hold back future investments into the grounds.