Charity bike ride on the Downslink ends in tragedy.

Anyone who drives this stretch of the A281 – as reported on Facebook – knows it is THE worst signposted road junction with the Downslink, which is so popular with cyclists. 


A cyclist who died in a Rudgwick collision has been formally identified.

Around 10.45am on Wednesday, 22 July, police responded to reports of a road traffic collision involving a cyclist and a Renault HGV tipper lorry on the A281 Guildford Road, Rudgwick.

Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, 20-year-old Pathushan Sutharsan died at the scene.

Pathushan, known as Pathu, was taking part in a 120km charity bike ride for Yemen when the collision occurred.

His family have issued the following tribute: “Pathu was a compassionate, sensitive, generous and creative person who always had a positive outlook. He had a life board in his bedroom where he would write down all of his dreams and aspirations.

“Pathu was in his second year studying architecture at Brighton University, due to start his third year in September and was a very dedicated student.

“His passions were photography and singing; he had a music studio as his home in Morden, South London, which he was very proud of. Pathu was also very interested in You Tube and wanted to capture real life situations via his podcasts.

“Pathu was always thinking of others and this bike ride was no different. Although Hindu, he was participating in the charity ride to assist Muslims in the Yemen.

“One of Pathu’s mantras in life included: ‘Will you be proud of the things you have done?’ 

“Well, us and his friends, although devastated by our loss, are proud that Pathu passed away trying to save the lives of so many people.”

His secondary school headmaster, Mr Bean of WCGS said on behalf of all staff at the school: “Pathu was a much-loved student and studied art, chemistry and maths at A Level. He was a very talented musician, often found in the main hall playing the piano and led Radcliffe as house captain with passion and creativity. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

Pathu’s Just Giving page for his charity ride has now raised more than £15,000.  Let’s give it a boost – and let us all call for proper signage both on the Downslink and the A281 warning the thousands of HGV drivers and cyclists of the hazards ahead?

Police continue to appeal for anyone who witnessed the collision or who has dash cam footage to make contact with them. You can report information online or by calling 101 quoting Operation Oakford.

5 thoughts on “Charity bike ride on the Downslink ends in tragedy.”

  1. This is indeed an awful tragedy.
    It is now clear government policy to promote active transport and that includes the provision of protected bike lanes. Funding is being made available.
    This is the time for the relevant authorities to step up to the plate and make a difference for generations to come.
    There should not be any more of these avoidable tragic losses.

  2. Yes, a truly dreadful accident, but an accident that will be repeated if the highway authority doesn’t consider very carefully how cyclists and motorists are warned of the dangers faced by using the same highways.

    It is one thing for more cycle lanes to be introduced, but then, where they end, cyclists are forced onto normal narrow pavements, making it dangerous for walkers, and in particular the elderly that simply cannot jump out of their way.

    The Government is giving us one instruction, but are the relevant authorities getting the same message and the money to fund these new initiatives. If not, then there will be more tragic losses such as this.

  3. This crossing has long needed something better happening than 40mph signage. Not only cyclists use this crossing, there are plenty of pedestrians and equestrians having to negotiate this road, riders of horses even need to have their horse’s head and neck out over the road for the rider to even see what is coming.
    It has been suggested that there should be self-closing gates on both sides, and yes that would be good. However, I have kept saying for many years, long before the road carried speeding traffic that it does now, that there should be a traffic light crossing where a rider on a horse has a button to press at their level along with a lower button for everyone else. One was put up at Broadbridge Heath where the new estate has been built…where vision was perfect and the traffic nowhere near so fast!! No amount of signage is going to make the slightest bit of difference on the A281. There are many, many drivers who either don’t see the signs or care about speed limits, and on Sunday they can be even worse, seeing it as some sort of challenge to go as fast as possible up and down through the dip, motorbikes particularly.

    This route is promoted as a national trail… it has been dangerous for a long time, tragically someone now has lost their life. The council, the Highways Dept, NEED to listen to the people who live here and use it constantly, DO something before there is another fatality. I have been told this sort of crossing is tooexpensive, sorry, what cost is a life….

    1. Hi Janet, We will be using your comment as a separate post – we hope you agree the more publicity this is given the better.

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