Ramsden Road

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More of a rock climb than a walk

Where to begin on this one? Let’s start with what it is. A byway open to all traffic (Holmfirth 180). This means walkers,riders,cyclists and motor vehicles have a right to pass along here. Might be worth mentioning who is responsible for the maintenance of Ramsden Road too. Well as it is recorded on the Definitive Map and Statement it is publicly maintainable by the local Highway Authority which is Kirklees Council. I can hear your groans and cries of despair dear reader but I’m just telling it like it is.

Clearly the surface of the byway is very much out of repair and hasn’t seen any maintenance of any kind for a long time,if ever. How has it got into this state? Well it would be very easy to blame 4×4 users who the byway is very popular with but I don’t think that would be fair. As a walker I’ve walked on many badly eroded footpaths where the damage has been caused by boots alone. So I’m not going to chuck the first stone of blame in the direction.

Many years ago before Ramsden Road was in this dire state but had the beginnings of these problems  there was a popular suggestion  to put a traffic regulation order on the byway which would have either stopped motor vehicle use or limited it at certain times of year. Sadly the idea was shot down in flames by local councillors who would hear none of it. The rest as they say is history and we are now left with this assault course of a byway.

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No not the famous Holmfirth Lido

It is still up to Kirklees to manage the traffic on Ramsden Road and keep the byway safe and in a condition suitable for it’s expected traffic which on the face of it doesn’t seem too challenging. However it is obvious from the neglected drains,culverts and extensive damage that the byway has been left to deteriorate and the public can take their chances when walking there.

What can be done? Path Watch has asked Kirklees to carry out some urgent emergency repairs to the worst affected sections of standing water and erosion. In the short term all that means is importing some local stone to put the surface back into a safe condition. They can then have a think about what to do in the longer term.

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Neglected cross drain

The byway has a good drainage system of ditches,culverts and cut offs which require reinstatement and of course the surface needs extensive repairs. This could be carried out over a period of time and need not break the bank.  What ever excuses come from Kirklees there is no getting away from 1. They are responsible and 2. lack of resources is no defense. Putting corporate fingers in their ears and singing LA LA LA loudly just won’t cut it.

Reports about  condition of Ramsden Road ,Holmfirth Byway 180 should be made to highways.ross@kirklees.gov.uk

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4 thoughts on “Ramsden Road”

  1. This is a popular descent for mountain bikers that has an element of challenge, and whilst I agree that it’s clearly in a state of neglect (there is some steel reinforcement poking out in one place) I’d much rather it remained as it was than have a load of rubble thrown over it which is Kirklees likely ‘austere’ response should they attempt remedial works. 4×4’s, cyclists and walkers aside (I’ve never seen a horse on there), a big factor for the state of many tracks of this gradient is of course rainfall erosion that if not addressed will savage any other remedial works (see Harden Hill Road to Meltham) so a good start would be to fix the drainage channels.

    Or leave it like it is.


    1. I can see where you are coming from and I don’t honestly think there’s much more than snow balls chance in hell of Kirklees doing anything. But we’ll see.Years ago I regularly used to cycle up and down there, run up and down there and I’ve even pushed my daughter in a push chair up and down there without to much of a problem. The current challenging nature of the surface is a fairly recent development.


    2. I agree, it’s fine like it is. There’s nothing hazardous for walkers there, they can pick their way up or down it easily.
      Hardly a priority for cash-strapped local councils, I wouldn’t have thought.


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