BOURLEY ROAD CAR PARK (Outridden Copse)
Yorkie passed this message on to Mountain Rescue:
"Many people have expressed to me their concern that the Bourley Road car
park remains closed. I have come to believe that the only way to have the Army
reconsider the closure is if enough people express their concerns to them.
Therefore, I feel that an organised campaign to politely ask for the car park to
be reopened is needed.
If you feel strongly about the closure of the Bourley Road car park then please would you visit my fledgling campaign web-site to register your interest in taking part in such a campaign; http://www.cchart.org.uk/bourley-road.html.
At this time I'm simply collecting names and e-mail addresses to get a feel for the scale of support for such a campaign; no point doing it if there are only a handful of people who care - though I know that is not the case.
I have deliberately waited until after the election so that this sincere initiative could not be dismissed as an election stunt. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone who you think may be interested or to post the link to the web-site through your Facebook / Twitter accounts - unfortunately I'm not a user of either. We will need a lot of people to be involved if this campaign is going to sway the Army."
As a hasher and rambler, I'm all too aware that as our population increases, the ratio of developed areas to parking spaces decreases. If we wish to produce a generation of couch potatoes then we are going the right way about it. Let's try, at least, to get one decent car park re-instated.
Update 12th June 2016
Park Closures Update
I feel that I owe
everyone an update although I've kept holding on for one more day hoping
that there will be a significant break through to report. As it is at the
end of another week I feel that I should be sending out some news.
Thanks to the publicity the campaign has generated (before as a group we've even done any coordinated lobbying) I have been able to speak directly with the army on this matter and am having a constructive dialogue.
In regards to the small car park opposite Peter Driver sports ground, the army are just as frustrated as we are that it has not been opened as yet. This is because the bureaucratic red tape is taking an age to process. The army are chasing this up with renewed urgency.
In terms of the main Bourley Road car park this was due to be reopened at the end of the logging work, as promised. Unfortunately a health and safety document landed on the commander's desk the very week it was due to reopen. The report states that with renewed military activity on the training area, new practices will need to be introduced to make the area safer if the public are to be allowed access back on it. The army are in the process of drawing up what these practices would be - but are likely to revolve around a scheme of opening the car park when the training activity is at a 'safe' level. Other measures such as a code of conduct may be needed. The high speed test track may require better fencing if people are to be allowed on to the adjacent areas.
I am promised some significant moves soon, at least we will shortly know what the new measures (and restrictions) will be.
Update 5th July 2016
Park Closures Update
case you have not noticed already the car park opposite the nursing home at
the Peter Driver end of Bourley Road is now open. I managed to get to speak
with the army today and they confirmed that this is now permanently open for
the use of the general public. Please note the conveniently placed 'dog
bins'. This at least gives people parking access to part of the heath land.
If you've not explored the racecourse end of the heaths before you may want
to try the area out.
My army contact has been difficult to get hold of recently because they are run off their feet with the responsibilities which have been 'dumped' on them by the air show. In the aftermath of the Shoreham plane crash last year new restrictions have been put on air shows. This means that the display area has been shifted to be over the army training grounds (north of Bourley Road) and the army are obliged to maintain a person free zone for the duration of each day's flying display. They are also at short notice having to rearrange training as the army can't use the land either.
This is adding to the delay in getting a resolution to the issue of developing a workable public use arrangement for when training exercises are not in progress. So the status on that is still "working on it".