Happy new year!


On 2 January 2020 rail fares will rise average by 2.7%. Not all fares will increase and a few may fall, but other may increase by more.

Buy your tickets today to beat the price rise.  You can often buy up to 3 months in advance.

You may be able to get a refund if you later decide not to use the tickets. See here and here .


Your response needed by 10th January 2020!

Cycle Lewes tells us:

“Transport is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK and is the only sector where emissions are still rising

You may not be aware that there is a very important consultation happening right now about a new regional transport strategy for the South East.

Cycle Lewes is preparing its response for submission by 10th January 2010.

Meanwhile we think it’s important as many people in Lewes Town and beyond think about responding.  While, the Strategy acknowledges a more sustainable low carbon transport future  – currently it doesn’t really go far enough and quickly enough to make the shift we need. We need to move from investment in roads to far greater investment in public transport and cycling infrastructure. It says very little about local journeys and change in our towns.

This strategy will have an important role to play in bringing about a low carbon future where we live and work.

Friends of the Earth has created a draft letter for people to easily respond to this consultation.

The links are below to their website and the officialy TfSE website.  There is a link to download the questionnaire before completing it alone.

Other sources of information, including a summary of some of the concerns of community groups across the South East are on the Transport Action Network website:





Jane Lee writes to say:

“I’ve come across (via a feature in my horse magazine) a phone app called What3Words that could make a big difference if you find yourself injured or lost on a walk/ride & in need of rescuing. Or you’re meeting someone in an unfamiliar place. Or trying to find an AirBnB hideaway. Or the courier can’t locate your house. Etc, etc. All the emergency services use it now I believe.

Very simply, the creators split the whole world into 3m squares and allocated each a unique 3-word code that never changes. E.g. my house is drifters.droplet.perfumed, which is rather nice!

The what3words system is very compact; it can even work offline when you don’t have a data/internet connection – you only need a GPS signal.



Many people feel that the election result was not good for sustainable transport and it is perhaps ironic that the first result that suggested what was to come was in Blyth, where the current government has obstructed the reinstatement of the railway line, which fell victim of Chris Grayling’s moratorium on new schemes.

But if that is true, then there is all the more reason to take action yourself.

Become a supporter of South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment (SCATE)

Scate is the organisation campaigning for sustainable transport and, in particular, against the building of a motorway style dual carriageway from Beddingham to Polegate.  Sign up here

Join Cycle Lewes to campaign for better cycling facilities in our area.

Full details here

Join Lewes Living Streets to campaign for a pedestrian friendly Lewes

Full details here

Take the bus more

Up to 20% of the local population does not have access to a car at all.  Those people need public transport, which is thinner and thinner on the ground in suburban and rural areas.  Your support will keep those buses going.

Even if you use a bus pass the bus company gets money which keeps the service going.

Could you make just one journey a fortnight that you might previously have made by car?  You can plan your journey at https://www.traveline.info/

Fly Less

If you really can’t stop flying altogether how about making a commitment to halve the distance you travel by air in 2020 compared with 2019?, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, the low countries, Switzerland, Barcelona and Venice are all easily accessible by train.  See https://www.seat61.com/

Take a night train

Go to sleep in one city- wake up in another.

Night trains run:

London to Scotland
London to Cornwall
Paris to the Pyrenees, the Catalan coast, Briancon and Rodez
Paris to Milan and Venice
Brussels to Vienna and other Austrian destinations
The French border to Lisbon
As well as other cross European services including Paris to Moscow.

Walk more

You know it makes sense. An able bodied person can walk from any point in Lewes to any other point. Even a little increase in your walking is good for your physical health and  mental well-being.  Walking briskly for just half an hour a day will work wonders.


How about these for a New year’s day or weekend walk? They all start in Lewes.

The Battle of Lewes and the Battle of Offham Combe
A walk following the fortunes of Edward, son of King Henry 111 in the battle of Lewes, with additional stories of battles in access land.  Townscape, downs, woods and rivers

Inside the race course
Here is a walk of about 3 and a half miles on the downs with trees. Most of the paths were dedicated about in the 1990s by Iford Farms so some people still don’t know about them.  Starts from Lewes prison.

Lewes and Kingston walk
8km, 5 miles.  A walk with something for everybody- downland views, four pubs, a farm park, Anne of Cleves House, the Priory and a windmill- and not too much effort either.

The secluded Balsdean Valley
9.4miles 15.1km There can be few places where you can be so cut off so near to big towns and cities as Balsdean and Standean Bottoms and there can be few places where you can get such panoramic views in all directions, sea, downs and towns.


Lewes Footpath Group is organising a series of walks in the new using public transport to circle Lewes.  Full details here.  You are welcome to join a couple of walks even if you are not a member, before making up your mind whether or not to join.


From December 20th to 5th of January, the Ramblers will be organising a festival of winter walks in our area (and all over the country)

Anyone is welcome to join in, whether or not you are a member of the Ramblers. Walks will be led by experienced Ramblers volunteer leaders  .

The Ramblers has also produced a winter walking guide for you to download free of charge.

For more details visit https://www.ramblers.org.uk/go-walking/festival-of-winter-walks.aspx