Brighton A23 cycle route?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by shepnic, 19 Jul 2012.

  1. shepnic

    shepnic Active Member

    Hi all.

    I'm not sure if this is the correct forum to post in or not but I'm going to swap the car for a bike. Well, that's the plan.

    On Saturday I'm taking the bike from Brighton to where I work in Wivelsfield (nr Haywards Heath) and I want to make sure the route is possible. One of the things I need to know is whether it's possible to cycle alongside the A23 out of Brighton.

    This is because I'll need to cycle through Pycombe, through Ditchling and then into Wivelsfield. I might be optimistic but I'm hoping it will take 80 minutes to do.

    Any help anyone can give would be most appreciated.

    Thank you
  2. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    It is easier for me to to explain the route in reverse, sorry. At Pyecombe turn right off the A273 main road up past the Church, on School Lane, bit of a steep climb but it is worth it, drop down the hill, 'Church Hill' and turn sharp left onto the road, you will then go across a bridge over the A23. Turn left at the end of the bridge and then follow the signs (white on a blue background) saying Brighton. This takes you on a dedicated cycle path off the carriageway of the A23 to Waterhall on the outskirts of Brighton.

    Riding on the A23 itself is for the very brave or very daft.

    To find that cycle path when heading north...

    At the roundabout where the A27 crosses the A23, the one with the big petrol station on it, turn left, go under the railway line and start climbing the bottom of Mill Road. On your right is a filter lane, take it and turn right off Mill Lane, going under the A27. Turn right immediately at the T junction after the bridge/flyover. Follow your nose and the white and blue signs as the road you are on becomes a cycle path, you'll climb and then turn right onto a dedicated path which comes out at Pyecombe where you turn right over the bridge. Watch for the right turn up Church Hill as it is easy to overshoot.

    Hope this helps. and good luck.
  3. Kizibu

    Kizibu Well-Known Member

    Sussex by the Sea
    You can find what Greg describes fairly clearly mapped here (if you zoom in on North Brighton)

    This should show the bit in Patcham

    And this Pycombe. The route through Pycombe is signposted South Downs Way which it forms part of.

    If you are approaching the Patcham roundabout from the city centre using the cycle lane along London/Preston Road Greg's route is probably the one to take. But should you be in Hollingbury or similar an alternative that avoids the narrow tunnel under the railway at Mill Hill (priority to traffic descending the hill) is to go along Vale Avenue, dismount to go right (or ride) a few yards along the pavement to cross over the slip road from the bypass and then take Braypool Lane to the footbridge over the A23 which connects with the cycle path.

    I take it that you have ruled out the more direct Ditchling Road (it's a bit of a rat run and a challenging hill on the way back).

    The Opencylcemap link above shows a route from Clayton to Burgess Hill which might be a bit more a cycle friendly route to Wivelsfield than Ditchling but I've never ridden that way. No doubt you'll have opportunity to try both.

    Best wishes and good luck. Let us know how you get on.
    GrumpyGregry likes this.
  4. OP

    shepnic Active Member

    Thank you so much for helping out! I probably would have found myself cycling head-on into A23 traffic!

    Checking out the map and your comments, I'm thinking that this route would be the best (and with fewer hills for the morning commute!)

    Dyke Road Avenue (heading north)
    across the two roundabouts
    Devils Dyke Road
    right onto Saddlescombe Road
    right onto West Hill
    left onto London Road
    over the bridge and onto Church Hill
    down the hill and then turn right onto New Road
    follow until Wivelsfield...

    Of course, I've not done the route so I have absolutely no idea what it will be like. However, I'll let you know.

    Thanks again.
  5. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    I would urge a degree of caution.

    Dyke Road Avenue - fine and dandy
    Devils Dyke Road - much less so, high speeds, in excess of NSL, poor sight lines and Brighton's drivers aren't about to join IAM en masse.
    Saddlescombe Road - wicked fast descents, grindingly slow climbs, blind summit at northern junction with Devils Dyke Road. Everything that is wrong with Devils Dyke Road with added hazard.

    If I were to do it I'd stick with the Devils Dyke Road all the way past the Dyke Golf Course but, as regular commute I doubt I'd have a thick enough skin to tolerate the way the cars are driven on wither road these days. (please bear in mind I used to ride that way 5 x a week in the 90's, and as it happens rode that route last Saturday morning)

    The route over West Hill, to London Road. Do you propose off road on the SDW? Steep, slippery, muddy and deeply unpleasant at the moment. Are you riding an MTB?

    PS and your route is WAY lumpier than taking the A23 cycle path.
  6. Kizibu

    Kizibu Well-Known Member

    Sussex by the Sea
    Me too. I hesitate to drive my car over the Saddlescombe Road, let alone bike it.

    But then I'm a scaredy-cat. I woudn't willingly ride up Clayton Hill or through Ditchling during commuting hours.

    If I was forced to ride from Brighton to Wivelsfield everyday during peak hours I think I'd seek the least stressful route maximising cycle paths. The weather and the mileage would be quite enough challenge for me without having to contend with traffic-in-a-crazy-hurry. I think that route would be up alongside the A23 to Hickstead and then turn east to Wivelsfield via Burgess Hill. But I've never cycled beyond Pycombe on that route so may be talking through my saddle pad.

    If you are determined to go via the Dyke the bridleway up from Hangleton is a quieter way to get there - I've done it on my hybrid. Its the track of the old Dyke Railway so a modest incline. Mudguards are handy for the first stretch which seems to be shared use - bridle path and dog toilet. Then down to Saddlescombe Road and right into Beggars Lane and right again at West Rd to Pycombe or straight on up Church Lane, Newtimber if you are going via A23 to Hickstead.

    At least with all these options you won't get bored. Good luck
  7. stoatsngroats

    stoatsngroats Guru

    South East
    I've only done the bit from Bolney to Brighton, and really enjoyed the cycle path (Is it NCN route 22 - I cant remember!), on the London bound side of the carriageway, If I was doing this regularly, I'd be happy with this as far as the Hickstead/Burgess hill turn off, but wouldn't be too happy from there to Burgess Hill.
  8. Kizibu

    Kizibu Well-Known Member

    Sussex by the Sea
    Mebbe so. The main road from B Hill to Hickstead is a pretty fast feeder road for the A23 as I recall. I wonder if the minor road to the north of it (Job's Lane here) and under the road to Godard's Green and Gatehouse Lane would provide a quieter route into B Hill?
  9. stoatsngroats

    stoatsngroats Guru

    South East
    From the RABT, over the A23 by the Travellodge, Jobs lane is signed as the cycle route to Burgess Hill! At the end where you have a slight right turn to cross the A2300, that's not an under bridge, it just crosses the bypass, with some bollards preventing vehicle access on the southern edge of the bypass to Bishopstone Lane. It looks passable on a bike though!
    Then Gatehouse Lane looks rideable all the way to West Street, with what looks like bike access across the A273 at Jane Murrey way.
    Using Googlemap cycling distance calculator over exactly this route, thats 2.2 miles!
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