Additional riding area: The Conservators were told the Training Grounds Management Board still hadn’t reached a decision on hack riders’ use of the hatched area: that’s part of the bottom of Six Mile Hill which should be available to hack riders ‘if conditions permit’. David Smith, clerk to the conservators, was clearly running out of patience, and told them to get on with it and come to a conclusion. The TGMB next meets in July.
Closure of Walton Road: Surrey County Council, as highway authority, has finally opined that the crossing of the back of the racecourse (next to the junction with Downs House road) cannot be legally closed, and must remain open. We hope that’s the end of the matter.
Publicity and signage: The conservators agreed to our proposal that the main hack rides on the downs should be marked on the OS Explorer map as permissive bridleways. This will help inform people about where they can ride, even without local knowledge. The restricted rides (the ones which cannot be used before noon each day) will not be included.
New bridleway: Sounds good? Surprisingly, no! Surrey wants to create a new bridleway, no 151, along the route of the statutory hack ride on the west side of Juniper Hill, so that it can be used by cyclists. The cyclists have said they don’t need it, and walkers and the hack riders don’t want it (they already have a right to use the path). The conservators agreed to ask Surrey why it was pressing ahead with the proposal despite a consensus against it.
Grandstand development: The redevelopment of the old grandstand, and the construction of a new hotel, now seems likely to go ahead. If so, there will be no race meetings in September. We have asked for further measures to improve traffic management in Chalk Lane, where abuse of the traffic regulation order seems otherwise likely to increase.
Revised downs strategy: A draft is now in circulation, and will be considered at the meeting of the consultative committee on 22 June.
Tattenham Corner crossing: The traffic light-controlled crossing at Tattenham Corner was commissioned in April, after months of delay awaiting electrical connections. It’s really only of use to the training yard adjacent: walkers and cyclists don’t need it. We are asking for a permissive route for riders to use the crossing to pass between the Hill and the hack ride on the east side of Old London Road.