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What is proposed?

The overall plan for the Downs Loop - click on the image to enlarge

The Downs Loop is a proposed new route of just over 2 miles around the western area of the Downs. It would follow Rockleaze and Downleaze, Circular Road, Ladies Mile and part of Stoke Road.

At present, the Downs caters very well for people who are able to walk a fair distance on narrow paths and uneven ground. But for those who need a smooth, wide, and even path for walking the options are limited. It is particularly hard to get to the Sea Walls from Stoke Road. The proposed paths are designed to improve access for everyone including those using wheels - people in wheelchairs, those pushing buggies and riding bikes.

There is a strong element of compromise in this proposal. The Downs offers us over 400 acres of flat parkland. By creating accessible paths for leisure and exercise and encouraging considerate use of them, many more people could enjoy this beautiful place. The accessible paths will not give priority to those on bikes. Signage will make this clear and most of the time, most people are considerate and aware of others and make space for those more vulnerable than themselves.

Mindful of the special historic and semi-rural landscape of the Downs, the proposed paths are designed to fit sensitively within the surroundings.

Scroll down the page for a summary of the proposals or click here to download the full set of proposals for the Downs Loop

Over the summer of 2020, we ran a public consultation on the proposals. Click here to download the Public Engagement Report.

Section 1: Stoke Road

Click the image above to see a gallery of illustrative images for Section 1

This section of the Downs Loop is a newly widened path along the South side of Stoke Rd, from Ladies Mile to Downleaze. It can be accessed from the Cafe Retreat via a proposed raised zebra crossing over Stoke Rd (there are two possible locations for the zebra crossing either close to the Cafe or at the end of Ladies Mile) and a raised crossing over Ladies Mile.

As part of the proposals there are also plans to provide a cycle hire facility at the Water Tower.

Section 2: Stoke Road to Seawalls

Click the image above to see a gallery of illustrative images for Section 2

Building a new path along Rockleaze and Downleaze along a heavily eroded walking route starting at Stoke Road. Once past the junction of Ivywell Road the path would cross Circular Road and continue along the line of the existing footpath that leads to the site of the proposed new café.

Section 3: Circular Road

Click the image above to enlarge

Circular Road would become a 20mph zone (distinct from its current 20mph limit). Along its length physical traffic calming measures will be introduced, a combination of some speed tables and some raised crossings to make crossing safer.

Section 4: Ladies Mile

Click the image above to see a gallery of illustrative images for Section 4

The narrow, poor quality path along Ladies Mile would be reconstructed and its course adjusted in some parts.

Further information

For more information on the proposals please visit our FAQs page.