Several routes carried traffic from Reigate to the top of the downs before the present road was made.

Some, deeply sunk and narrow, still remain although they look impassable by any traffic bulkier than a man with a packhorse.

Access to the new road was via the High Street and London Road until the creation of the tunnel in 1823, provided a short cut.

The cutting at the top of the hill to bypass the old dog leg bend, now the route through the car park, further shortened the journey.

The steepness of Reigate Hill and its untreated surface made progress difficult, especially during wet weather.

One of the methods employed to overcome the problem for northbound traffic was the addition of a pair of extra horses to a coach's team to aid in pulling it to the top of the hill.

Another remedy was the laying, in 1839, of twin tram tracks made of granite, on which the coach wheels could more easily run on the steepest 50 yards of the gradient.

This must have proved a success because in 1840 it was ordered that an extra 200 yards be added, the work to be carried out by individuals feeling an interest in the work', which probably meant businessmen who made money out of the carriage trade and who wanted to see increased prosperity brought to the town.

In the picture the rough surface of Reigate Hill and the granite tracks on the up side of the gradient can be seen.

l Article and pictures courtesy of Alan Moore, author of A History of Redhill volumes 1 and 2.