Walkers, cyclists and horse riders in Kent

Over 20km of new or improved pathways

Lower Thames Crossing - Walkers, cyclists and horse riders - Kent

In Kent, we are creating new pathways and bridges, as well as improving existing pathways, to offer a combination of shorter looping trails and longer routes.

Connecting this network of pathways to the area’s rich mosaic of parks and woodland are three new green bridges, including an 84m green bridge over Thong Lane – one of the largest in Europe.

Some of the proposals in the Kent area are:

  • Three green bridges - over the Lower Thames Crossing and A2 to create safe routes for pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and wildlife – including an 84m bridge, one of the widest green bridges in Europe
  • New and extended foot and cycle paths - connecting residential areas of Gravesend, Rochester, and communities south of the A2, to the parks and woodlands between them
  • A new cycle route south of the A2 - running through Jeskyns Community Woodland from Park Pale in the east to Hares bridge in the west
  • A network of bridleways - giving horse riders an uninterrupted route through woodlands such as Shorne Woods Country Park and Jeskyns Community woodland
  • The creation of the new Chalk Park - a landscaped park that will offer views over the Thames estuary and be crossed with new footpaths that link to the surrounding area.

Some of the changes have been proposed following feedback received during our consultation in 2021. You will have the opportunity to give feedback on these and other changes in a consultation being planned later in the spring. Sign up to our newsletters.

Watch our video about the proposed new or improved pathways in Kent

Explore our detailed maps below, or read more about:

Existing and proposed walking routes in Kent
Existing and proposed cycling routes in Kent
Existing and proposed horse riding routes in Kent

Green bridges – safe and easy connections for people and wildlife

In total, seven new green bridges along the route will provide safe crossing places for people and wildlife, as well as blend the new structures into the landscape.

At the heart of this improved network in Kent will sit three new green bridges – an 84m wide bridge over the new crossing, one of the widest in Europe, and two over the A2.

Thong Lane green bridge over the Lower Thames Crossing

At 84m wide, the Thong Lane green bridge over the Lower Thames Crossing will be the widest green bridge in the project. It will be built to include a segregated bridleway that accommodates horse riders, as well as walkers and cyclists.

From here pathways will lead:
• north towards Chalk Park and Gravesend Road
• east toward Brummelhill Wood via Shorne Ifield Road
• south on a new route that passes between Thong village and the project

At the southern end of Thong Lane, we will replace the existing bridge over the A2 with a new green bridge.

On the eastern side of the bridge we will include walking, cycling and horse-riding provision which will link to a crossing point over the new connector road south of the A2.

From here you can either:
• use the existing green bridge over the railway line to reach Jeskyns Community Woodland, or;
• join the pedestrian-cycle route running on the south side of the connector road west toward the Gravesend East Junction or east to Brewers Road.

Artist impression of the Thong Lane green bridge crossing the A2
Artist impression of the Thong Lane green bridge

Footpaths - creating new journeys

In north Kent there is a well-established network of footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways that connect Gravesend to Thong village, Shorne Woods Country Park and Shorne village.

Where the new crossing heads toward the tunnel under the River Thames, some of these paths will be affected. Rather than recreate these links with underpasses and ramps, we will build a series of new paths and bridleways that maintain existing connections and offer you the choice of quick trips or longer trails. These new journeys will better connect you to the rich mosaic of parks and woodlands that lay between Gravesend and Strood.

NG8 diverted west and upgraded to bridleway

One of the well-used footpaths affected by the project is the NG8 pathway. Found north of Thong Lane, the project would cross diagonally over its current alignment. To keep this footpath up and running, the NG8 will be diverted west, past the eastern edge of Chalk Park, and around the tunnel entrance to meet the existing alignment east of the tunnel portal.

The new diversions to NG8 will be made into bridleway, creating an accessible pathway for pedestrians, cyclists, and horse riders. A series of new paths will be created throughout Chalk Park that links to Thong Lane, further connecting the community to more green spaces.

The remaining northern section of the NG8 footpath, which links up to Lower Higham Road via Church Lane and the A226 Gravesend Road, would be upgraded to bridleway status. This provides all three user types wider east-west connectivity. It will also improve access to the existing east-west connectivity along Lower Higham Road.

Have your say - a change has been proposed to this route following feedback received during our consultation in 2021. You will have the opportunity to give feedback on these and other changes in a consultation being planned later in the spring.


As you reach the end of the NG8 diversion, the NG9 footpath will also be upgraded to bridleway. This upgrade will continue to where it terminates at the alignment of a new bridleway connecting the A226 Gravesend Road to Shorne Ifield road and Thong Lane.

The NS167 and NS174 pathways will be realigned and available early in the construction period. The section of NS169 that connects these two routes will remain as footpath and together these will form two small loops for those wanting a shorter walk.

The eastern end of the NG17 footpath will be diverted north along the urban edge of Gravesend, crossing NS169 and continuing north to the new bridge at Thong Lane.

Have your say - a change has been proposed to this route following feedback received during our consultation in 2021. You will have the opportunity to give feedback on these and other changes in a consultation being planned later in the spring.

The NS169 footpath will be redesigned as a pedestrian-cycle track as opposed to the previously proposed bridleway (following discussions with the British Horse Society).

Have your say - a change has been proposed to this route following feedback received during our consultation in 2021. You will have the opportunity to give feedback on these and other changes in a consultation being planned later in the spring.

Bridleways – an improved network for horse riders

We are also creating an almost entirely new network of bridleways in this area. Together with the project’s new green bridges, horse riders can enjoy a longer uninterrupted route through the surrounding woodlands and parks. This include the new Chalk Park, Shorne Woods Country Park, Ashenbank Wood and Jeskyns Community Woodland.

The Thong Lane green bridge over the A2 will also include one of many new controlled crossing points being installed to make passing the new and existing roads safer. This includes a new Pegasus crossing – designed specifically for horse riders.

These improvements create an equestrian link from Rancombe Farm Reserve, through to Ashenbank Wood, Jeskeyns Community Woodland, and Shorne Woods Country Park.

Ashenbank Wood existing track improvements

There will be surface improvements to the existing track through the north of Ashenbank Wood that links to Halfpence Lane.

The existing length of shared pedestrian-cycle track on Brewers Road will be extended to link with a route down to the NS179 footpath. This extended pathway will be upgraded and redesigned as bridleway as far as Park Pale. The route will then terminate opposite the Darnley Trail route, which will allow equestrian access.

A new shared pedestrian-cycle-equestrian route would be formed alongside Park Pale to provide an off-road connection with the NS179 path heading west and the Darnley Trail route heading east.

The length of NS179 that runs parallel to the railway line would be resurfaced and designated as bridleway. A new connection into Brewers Road would be formed to the south of Brewers Road green bridge, this would also have bridleway status.

Park Pale to the north of the A2 would also be available for cyclists as a link between Park Pale bridge and Brewers Road. This would provide an alternative route for those not wanting to use the upgraded NS179 through a woodland area.

The NG17 pathway from Valley Drive will be upgraded to bridleway. The eastern end of NG17 will be diverted north along the urban edge of Gravesend where it will cross NS169 and continue north to the new bridge at Thong Lane.

This route will have bridleway status allowing horse riders a link from Valley Drive to Thong Lane

Following discussions with the British Horse Society the project has chosen to upgrade the section of pedestrian-cycle route connecting Hever Court Road to Valley Drive to allow horse riders.

This change will give horse riders a better connection between the permissive bridleway parallel to NCR177 and the upgraded NG17 (to be upgraded to a bridleway) also improving connectivity to newly created routes that connect to Chalk Park.

The part of NS169 west of the diverted NG17 will be upgraded to bridleway meaning there will be equestrian access from Michael Gardens too.

Have your say – a change has been proposed to this route following feedback received during our consultation in 2021. You will have the opportunity to give feedback on these and other changes in a consultation being planned later in the spring.

Cycle paths – keeping you on track and a new scenic route

We will be improving existing or creating new cycle routes throughout Kent. These will give the local community the choice of direct or recreational riding paths to the surrounding countryside and country parks or areas of employment, education, and leisure.

Scenic diversion of the NCR 177 route during construction

Our work on a new junction between the A2/M2 and Lower Thames Crossing will sever the NCR 177 commuter route that connects Rochester and Gravesend. But, before we close it, we will open an alternative that runs south of the A2.

This alternative route will be a more scenic journey to the south of the railway line from Park Pale in the east to Hares bridge in the west. This alternative route will provide cyclists a longer recreational journey through Jeskyns Community Woodland.

Once construction of the project is complete, a new off-road shared pedestrian-cycle track will be available from Henhurst Road roundabout to the junction at Gravesend East - where it will connect into the existing NCR177 alignment.

There will also be a crossing to allow access to the shared track over the Thong Lane replacement green bridge. Not only will this allow access to other new routes, it will provide an alternative to the recreational cycle path through Jeskyns Community Woodland.

To provide access for cyclists to areas around the junction, NG17 will be given bridleway status and diverted north, while the western part of NS169 will be made available for cyclists.

These changes will give cyclists access from the east of Gravesend to the Claylane Wood, newly planted areas, and to new routes north of Thong Lane.

The diverted NG17 will cross NS169 and continue north to reach the new green bridge at Thong Lane where cycle users will have a number of routes available to them.

Alongside Brewers Road there will be a new section of shared pedestrian-cycle-equestrian track. This would connect into the existing track which would be widened to meet current standards, terminating at Halfpence roundabout.

To the west of the Halfpence roundabout there is an existing track along the northern edge of Ashenbank Wood that links to the south side of the existing green bridge over the railway line. The surface of this track would be upgraded and given bridleway status.

In order to bring the NCR177 route south of the railway line, a length of the NS195 and NS311 byways will be improved, bringing the route south of Scalers Hill Stables. Here it would link to a newly surfaced route through Jeskyns Community Woodland, connecting with Henhurst Road at the existing car park and near to the junction with Church Road.

There would be an area of woodland mitigation planting to the south of Church Lane, and a new bridleway would be formed through the northern fringe of this area. This will provide an off-road route parallel to Church Road as far as NS175A.

The NS175A pathway south of the bridge over the railway line would also receive surface improvements and be redesignated to allow cyclist access.

Artist impression of National Cycle Route 177 diversion
Artist impression of National Cycle Route 177 diversion
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