We have created this page to keep you updated with information about the work to restore West Park Stray to its former glory in light of the UCI road world championships.
Firstly, we want to stress that we take our responsibilities for this amazing piece of land very seriously and, like you, we want it brought back into use as soon as possible.
Hosting the UCI road world championships was a major honour for our district and the exposure to a global audience of around 250 million people will have long term benefits.
One of the short-term issues we have to deal with is the current condition of the West Park area of the Stray.
The event organisers spent £100,000 laying down 13,000 square metres of protective matting to minimise damage to the site.
In usual circumstances this would be more than enough to prevent major damage.
As it was, the protective matting was no match for the relentless rain we experienced during the nine days of the championships. It was the wettest September since the 1970s.
Extra protective measures - such as straw - also proved to be ineffective as the rain continue to lash down.
Now that the event is long gone, we understand, and appreciate, why there is frustration that some parts of West Park Stray remain out of bounds.
It took longer than expected for the site to be handed back to us by the organisers. Efforts to clear the Stray of infrastructure and rubbish was hampered by further rain.
Given the ongoing bad weather since the end of the championships, ground conditions remain very challenging with several areas still waterlogged.
However, we have not waited to begin repair works. So far*, we have:
- repaired all the damage to verges along Beech Grove, York Place and West Park
- restored all bedding areas along West Park
- repaired and reopened the footpath along West Park from the Prince of Wales roundabout to the top Montpellier Hill.
- repositioned the Heras fencing along West Park
*as of 29 November 2019
We will now turn our attention to the two longer footpaths which cross West Park Stray.
They have sustained significant damage. Repairs will involve the use of heavy machinery but bringing equipment onto the Stray now may actually cause further problems. We are however doing some temporary repairs on the paths in the interim.
We are committed to removing as much of the rest of the Heras fencing as quickly as we can as we appreciate it is ugly. It will be replaced by less intrusive fencing in the next week or so because some areas remain waterlogged and unsafe.
Restoring the grass will take longer because of the weather and time of year. Re-seeding will have to wait now until spring.
We will update this page on a regular basis to keep you posted with our progress. We will also post news to our social media feeds.
You can also watch our video updates from Ben Grabham who is overseeing the work.