Ebbisham Lane: Steve Williamson, Surrey area highways manager, reports that the county does not recognise this road as a route open to vehicles and aims to reclassify it as a bridleway (for which purpose, it would need to apply to the magistrates’ court). He says that a small programme of tree management has been carried out, and the worst potholes are repaired, that a continuing breakdown of the asphalt can be expected, and that it is maintained as passable for cyclists, horse riders and walkers. The committee agreed that this policy amounted to neglect, that the surface was convenient neither for cyclists nor riders, and asked the conservators to take a view and raise the matter with the highway authority.
Hack sand track: officers are still in discussion with Andrew Cooper, secretary of the Training Grounds Management Board, about responsibility for maintenance.
Byelaw boards: Â£7,500 has been approved to be spent on 27 byelaw boards, the money coming from “section 106” funds arising out of the new hotel on the downs. Designs for the boards will be presented to the consultative committee next year.
Onwards rides from the downs: there had been a misunderstanding about what was sought, and it was agreed that there should be further discussion about opportunities for hack riders to use the equestrian crossing at Tattenham Corner, particularly since one option is entirely within the control of the conservators.
Dog control: officers are working with Elmbridge Borough Council, which has introduced dog control orders, and are exploring this possibility further. Strong emphasis on education of dog walkers, since legal measures tend to be ineffective on their own.
Metal detecting: the designated areas for metal detecting are essentially coincident with the hack rides and areas: we expressed concern that the decision was made on areas open to metal detecting without consideration of effect on particular downs users (i.e. hack riders). Agreed (I think) that impact on downs users needs to be considered when making policy decisions.
Byelaws: a byelaw is proposed to control cycling, but would allow cycling on ‘designated routes’. It was agreed to consider further what routes should be designated for cycling, since the new byelaw would be unenforceable if itâ€™s not clear where cyclists can legitimately go. Designated routes would certainly include public bridleways and roads, but what about the cycle route from Rifle Butts Alley to the tea hut roundabout?
Event management strategy: asked for the impact of events on particular downs users, and whether event will exclude access for other users, to be considered in the screening report.
Habitat Management Plan for golf course: plans are definitely in hand for the long-awaited update to cover management of the golf course lands, but it wonâ€™t start until April 2010 when funds are available, and should be concluded by October.
Downs strategy: agreed to review action plan, and consider strategy when providing advice to the conservators.
Date of next meeting: 26th July 2010 at 1800.