The Exceat Bridge

About the Exceat Bridge

Photograph of the existing Exceat Bridge
The current bridge

Exceat Bridge carries the A259 across the Cuckmere River. It is located in the Seven Sisters Country Park within the South Downs National Park which attracts many thousands of visitors each year.

The A259 is an important route for economic connectivity, linking communities from the east of the County along the coast all the way to Brighton. Long distance traffic and freight generally use the A27. Work is being carried out by National Highways to improve the A27 and ensure they continue to use this route rather than the A259 and local roads.

Exceat bridge was built around 1870 so that horses and carts could cross the River Cuckmere. It is a single-lane bridge which means that peak traffic backs up in both directions. It was extensively repaired in the 1970s, but the bottleneck for traffic still exists. This is frustrating for drivers and unpleasant for cyclists and pedestrians who need to cross the road twice to access the footway on the north side.

Due to its age, the bridge is costly to maintain and will require replacement in the near future. Therefore, we are taking this opportunity to improve the design and alignment of the bridge for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. The new bridge can be constructed next to the current bridge which will mean the road can stay open throughout most of the construction period, minimising disruption. Replacing the bridge in its current location would have required road closures lasting many months.